What is a Will?
A Will is a written legal document in which a person provides for the distribution of his or her solely owned property after death. It can also make provisions on a person or entity that would be in charge of handling the final affairs and managing the estate.
Each state has its own set of laws on what makes a Will valid. In fact, the necessary language for residents of Kentucky and the signing requirements are different from those in Indiana. Wills require the proper number of witnesses, the correct attestation clauses by the testator and also the witnesses and in most cases a notary public.
In drafting a Will, an experienced attorney will require some important information from a client such as assets, next of kin, relationships with these people, how assets are titled or held, etc. Only after a thorough review and consultation can an appropriate document be drafted for each unique client. There is no "one size fits all."
Be wary, as some "do-it yourself" websites offer computer generated documents that purport to be equivalent to attorney drafted Wills. Would you want to take a chance on your final wishes being drafted correctly by a computer program, requiring you to make legal choices without any education on the consequences of different choices?
Because there ARE legal consequences to most options in Will drafting. One of the possible consequences is that certain sections, or the whole Will, is not in compliance with the laws of your state, resulting in the Government (through its intestacy laws) making your final determinations. A simple error could result in assets passing to people that you had no intentions of leaving things to.
What is a Trust?
Simply put, a trust is a fiduciary arrangement that allows for a third party to hold property for the benefit of another. The Trust relationship is memorialized by a trust document.
There are several types of trusts. Most widely used in estate planning are testamentary trusts, life insurance trusts, revocable trusts, irrevocable trusts, and more specialized modern asset protection trusts.
There are also several types of trusts created for the benefit of persons with disabilities designed to shelter any government benefits that the person is entitled to. These are often called supplemental trusts or special needs trusts.
Melissa Rodden Mays focuses much of her practice on assisting persons and families who are in need of the protections that trusts provide. This could include protecting the legacy for which you worked so hard from the future creditors, divorces, or bankruptcies of your beneficiaries.
Why Choose Us?
Depending on your personal situation you may need one or more of these complex documents. Or you may not need any of them at all.
We are not a trust mill, we give you the necessary understanding of the different types of trusts and their purposes, to help you decide what is best for you and your family.
In most cases, our clients will have at least two meetings with Attorney Mays before even determining which trust documents, if any, are necessary for their circumstances.
Attorney Melissa Rodden Mays is licensed in Kentucky and Indiana. This website contains general information about legal matters. It is not intended to be legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your attorney. If you have specific questions about any legal matter you should not delay in consulting with an attorney.