Will Your Will Be Known?

From the time we first blew out candles on a birthday cake, we, Americans, have practiced the tradition of keeping our most personal hopes and dreams to ourselves. And in large number, we tend to continue this tradition when it comes to a final communication with friends and loved ones. This final communication is called The Last Will and Testament. Regardless of how we’ve come to view this document, it is a final opportunity to give specific expression to personal wishes.

Do You Need A Will?

Many people, especially young individuals and those who feel that their estate is too small, believe that a Will represents an unnecessary expense. But the preparation of a Will does not need to be expensive.

Even when there are not many property distribution issues, a Will is the legal avenue through which a number of other issues should be addressed, such as:

  • Naming an executor
  • Naming a legal guardian for minors
  • Making gifts or transfers
  • Reducing estate tax liability

In the absence of a Will, the state will resort to a formula. A judge will name an executor, a bond may have to be posted, the court will name a guardian and a formula will determine asset distribution.

The Bequest

The charitable bequest affords a way for virtually anyone to express specific philanthropic wishes. In fact, the bequest is the most frequently utilized method to support charity in America.

A bequest may take on a number of forms, including naming

  • a specific dollar amount
  • a percentage of the estate
  • specific assets

Your philanthropic spirit is given a voice when wishes are expressed in your Will. While many may think philanthropy is reserved for a select few, the truth is that every bequest to this organization makes a mark that will last throughout history.