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Wills & Trusts

What is a will and why do you need one?

Last will and testament document
Lipman & Katz can look at your priorities, objectives, and goals and help you determine whether a will or some type of trust would be in your best interests.

A will is a legal document that provides for how your property will be distributed upon your death. Some property will pass by will, and other property will pass in other ways, like to a joint owner or through a beneficiary designation. If you die without having a will, your estate will be distributed based on state law.

To avoid disagreements among family members, and to avoid your property passing to people who you don’t want to have it, you should have a will. Having no will is simply a plan to let the state make decisions for you. If you have minor children, or are part of a blended family, this is even more important.

Having a will enables you to designate that certain items are given to people you choose. Life insurance, retirement accounts and some other items pass through beneficiary designations, but can include complicated tax questions. An estate planning attorney from Lipman & Katz with years of experience in Maine wills and trusts can help ensure that all the myriad details that should be included in your will are addressed, saving your family from making difficult decisions in the event of your death. We can also work with your tax advisor or financial advisor to assist you in making the best decisions possible.

Should you set up a trust?

There are lots of reasons to set up a trust. Establishing a trust can be a complex proposition and isn’t just for the wealthy. Often, parents will establish a trust to provide for their children in the event that they die or become incapacitated at the same time. Spouses in blended families may set up trusts to ensure that their respective children are treated fairly while also protecting their current spouse. Sometimes trusts are established for charitable purposes. And trusts provide privacy that a will won’t provide, which is an incentive for some people. For others, there isn’t much of a benefit.

Lipman & Katz can look at your priorities, objectives, and goals and help you determine whether a will or some type of trust would be in your best interests.