Most people think that their Last Will and Testament is a “simple” one, but that is not always the case. A “simple will” is a will that leaves the person’s entire estate to their spouse, or to their children equally. Or to their spouse first, then to their children equally if their spouse does not survive them.
Having a step-family can create a need for a more complex will (but not always). Other reasons that a will may need to be more detailed:
- Estate planning is needed and additional provisions need to be added to take advantage of available tax breaks.
- There is an unequal distribution of property or funds between beneficiaries, especially if it s between people of the same “group” (children, siblings).
- Someone is being disinherited.
- Someone who is a beneficiary, or could be a beneficiary, has a special situation such as a substance abuse issue, or is incarcerated.
- One of the beneficiaries has special needs.
A complex will is not simple and will always require further discussions and direction.
If you are taking the time to get a will, take the time to be certain that it is what you need. One size does not fit all!