What is a Will?
Your Last Will & Testament is what shows your family, friends and the Court (when a Probate is necessary) what your wishes were as to your possessions. It can be as simple as your spouse/ child or someone specific receiving all property, or it can be as specific as you choose.
If you die without a Will, those wishes may not be carried out exactly as you wish and Tennessee Law will dictate how your Estate is distributed.
Having a Will also allows you to name your Executor – the person you wish to oversee your Estate to make sure your wishes are carried out.
- Schedule an appointment to come in and meet with Mr. Duncan. Prior to this meeting, make sure that you have already thought about what you own and who you would want to receive your property. Also, think about who is the most responsible person to follow your wishes. Mr. Duncan will take notes as to your wishes (make sure you have proper name spellings as well)
- We will prepare the requested documents.
- If an appointment was not already scheduled before you left your consultation, we will give you call to come back in to review and execute your documents. We will make you however many copies you want and you will go home with your original (to place in a secure location) and copies to provide to whoever you think may need one.
Some people think that only the very wealthy or those with complicated assets need wills. However, there are many good reasons to have a will.
- You can be clear about who gets your assets. You can decide who gets what and how much.
- You can keep your assets out of the hands of people you don’t want to have them (like an estranged relative).
- You can chose who is over your Estate by naming your Executor.
- You can express your wishes as to who will care for minor children if you pass – the Courts will take your wishes into consideration.
This is a very important job and you should only chose someone you trust and that is responsible. The most common choice is a spouse or a child. If these common choices are not available, or you do not think that you particular situation would benefit from your spouse or child, you can always chose a close and trusted friend, other family member or a trusted professional that has agreed to be your Executor.
Another option if you are having a hard time making a decision is to name more than one person to act as Joint-Executors- 2 people to share in the responsibility of administering your Estate.
The online (or even handwritten or self-typed Will) may not meet certain State of Tennessee requirements and could allow a family member or heir to contest the Will. Having your Will prepared by an attorney gives you an additional level of comfort that everything was done properly and also allows for 2 witnesses and a notary be involved in the execution.