Will Law Firm Memphis, TN Will Law Firm Memphis, TN

Our experienced will law firm Memphis, TN residents recommend, has seen firsthand the complications that can follow when someone passes away without a will. There are many reasons that developing a will should not be set aside for another day as your will has a critical purpose. Patterson Bray Attorneys can play a crucial role in ensuring you have identified an executor and mapped out every last detail. 

The Purpose of Developing a Will

When considering whether you need a will, it’s essential to know that anyone with assets or final decisions that need to be made should create one. Wills aren’t just for people of a certain age anymore; in fact, even the younger population should consider having a will should the unexpected occur. A will is a legal document that outlines how property and assets will be distributed after their death. However, it’s essential to know that a will does far more than just outlining property distribution. Within a will, you can identify an executor, develop trusts, and identify minor children’s guardians. 

Identifying an Executor

Lawyers at our will law firm in Memphis, TN, stress that one of the most critical components of a will is identifying an executor. An executor carries the weighty responsibility of settling the estate of the person who has passed away. The executor is charged with:

  • Filing a request for probate
  • Filing the death certificate and request with the court
  • Carrying out the wishes of the deceased
  • Paying off all debts and taxes of the estate
  • Managing the distribution of assets to beneficiaries

In some cases, when many of the assets have been transferred into a living trust before someone’s passing, those assets can be distributed to beneficiaries without enduring the probate process. When a will goes through probate, assets cannot be distributed without the court’s approval. 

Important Factors Regarding Wills

When you create a will for the first time, there are a few things that you should think about to ensure you have everything you need. Even if you do not have a large fortune, you may be thinking of creating a will because you have spent a good portion of your life working hard to set money aside, buy property, or build a business. Whatever you need a will for, our attorneys can help you. You don’t want to leave what happens to your estate up to the local court. Instead, by investing a little time and effort into your will now, you know your assets will be taken care of later when you are no longer around. To see how our team of attorneys can help you, give our office a call. 

Is there anything that can complicate a will? 

Absolutely, and having a Memphis, Tennessee will law firm on your side while you write your will can help to uncomplicate things. That said, depending on what you have in your will, you can make it simple or complex. If you have had a complicated marriage life and have had multiple spouses and kids from different marriages, this kind of thing can certainly complicate a will. If you run a business, this can also mean you will have a more complicated will than someone who only owns a house. 

Remembering What You Own

It may be hard to believe, but people may not always remember what they own or they may have no idea they share a property with someone else. Before signing your will, you want to ensure you have gone through every possible option regarding the property you own. You may be writing something in your will to give property away to a loved one and not realize you do not actually own the property. 

At what points in life should I make changes to my will? 

There are several points in your life that you would need to make changes to your will. In the following events, it is a good idea to call your attorney and ask about making changes: 

  • You get married 
  • You get divorced
  • You have children or adopt children
  • Your spouse passes away

In fact, in certain states, your current will cancels out if you get married, so in this situation, you would need to go to your attorney and ensure your assets are still going to the designated places. 

Questions You Should Ask Your Estate Planning Lawyer

What Is Your Specialization?

When you create your will, you need to work with a will law firm in Memphis, TN that specializes in wills and estate planning, such as Patterson Bray. The attorneys in these firms have extensive experience and specialized knowledge about the laws that can affect your final will and testament. They are able to draft documents that are acceptable to probate courts, and if a problem does arise, they can present your desires to the court and your heirs. Local and national statutes concerning wills change, so these attorneys focus on continual education in these areas.

Will You Review My Will Periodically?

Throughout your life, the law and your life will change. These changes can affect the execution of your will. Therefore, you need a will law firm in Memphis, TN that will periodically review your will. These professionals should conduct an annual or biannual review of your assets and reaffirm their distribution. They should also let you know about new laws that may impact your desired distributions. These reviews should continue as long as you have the mental capacity to make legal decisions.

Who Will Execute My Will?

Some will lawyers will only draft your will, while others may also execute them. Therefore, you need to discuss your executor with your will attorney. When you work with a law firm that also executes your will, you have a third-party executor who can execute your desires. However, if one of your heirs is your executor, this individual has a vested interest in their own distributions, which can lead to poor or illegal execution. Therefore, try to find an attorney who will both draft and execute your will or choose someone who can be trusted to follow your desires exactly.

What Do I Need To List in My Will?

A will law firm, e.g., Patterson Bray, can give you a list of things you need to include in your will. Most individuals discuss their funeral arrangements and whether they want their organs donated. Your will law firm in Memphis, TN may also ask about your trustees, powers of attorney and guardianship. Finally, the distribution of your assets, from your real estate to your artwork and photos, should be included in your will.

You may also have specific conditions for your heirs. For example, you may require a college degree be completed before your daughter receives access to her trust, or you may require that any real estate be offered to all your heirs before the one who inherited it can sell it.

If you have debts, their payment should be discussed in your will. As you pay them off, your debt instructions can be removed from your draft.

FAQs about wills in Memphis, TN

I Don’t Have a Lot — Do I Really Need a Will?

The short answer? Yes. You need a will to spell out in detail which of your belongings you want going to which people or organizations. For example, you may have a collection that someone else has always admired. Your will could specify that the collection goes to that friend or relative. You also need to designate a guardian for any minor children you may have.

You may have forgotten about assets you own or co-own, like property, bank accounts, or insurance policies. These can be dealt with better through a will, rather than letting the courts decide. An experienced will law firm in Memphis, TN such as Patterson Bray can help you figure out all the details of your future estate.

What Should I Include in My Will?

The short answer? Everything. Anything and everything you want to make sure goes to the people and organizations you love needs to be included in your will. Property, land, cash, bank accounts, insurance payouts, family heirlooms, and important documents should all be included, no matter how small or insignificant you may think they are. People who die without a will have their estate adjudicated by the court. That is, the court will decide what happens to your property. A will law firm in Memphis, TN can help you avoid that happening.

When Should I Write or Update My Will?

The short answer? Now. If you don’t have a will, call a will law firm in Memphis, TN to help you write one. It can be tempting to use an online will generator tool, but such tools often miss important points of law, like estate taxes or maximizing your beneficiaries’ inheritance. 

You should update your will every time you experience a major life event. These events include birth or adoption of children, marriage, divorce, death of a spouse, death of the named guardian of your children, financial windfalls and death of your executor. 

Who Should I Choose as the Executor of My Will?

The short answer? Anyone. You aren’t limited to friends or family to be the executor of your will. A will law firm in Memphis, TN such as Patterson Bray can also act as your executor. You want to choose someone who is level-headed and will carry out your exact wishes. That person needs to carry out a number of duties for your estate, so make sure they are someone who won’t buckle under the weighty responsibility of carrying out your final wishes.

The Importance of Drilling Down the Details

A will should leave nothing to the imagination to ensure that your wishes are clearly outlined so that your loved ones can decipher them when the time comes. One of the biggest mistakes people make is forgoing an attorney for an online will creation tool. While this may seem like a more accessible, less expensive option, several problems might arise. Your will could be invalidated, not consider tax laws in your state, and may not allow you to maximize your beneficiaries’ inheritance. A will lawyer will work with you to assess your wishes and make sure that all necessary elements are detailed. Additionally, an attorney’s help with creating a will can ensure that the will is valid, reduces tax implications, and mitigates family conflict. 

The process of developing a will doesn’t have to be an overwhelming one. Patterson Bray can help you create a will that suits your needs as quickly as possible so that you no longer have to back burner the process. Both you and your family will have peace of mind knowing that you have identified how your assets will be distributed. To begin the process with a Memphis, Tennessee, will law firm you can depend on, call our office to schedule an appointment with our team.