Oregon Will Preparation

Oregon Will Preparation

A Will is a legal document that allows you to distribute your assets after your death to the people you select. We can help you prepare a Will that will address your wishes and simplify issues for your loved ones when you die. We understand the complications that arise when the Will is not properly signed and witnessed or when stepchildren are omitted. Complications also arise when the terms of the Will conflict with beneficiary designations that are on file with life insurance companies and banks.

For example, a beneficiary designation for a retirement plan may state that 100% of the benefits go to one child, while the Will states that all assets are to be distributed equally among four children.

What happens if I die without a Will?

By not leaving a valid will or trust, or transferring your property in some other way, such as insurance, you’ve essentially left it to the state to write your Will for you. The State will make certain assumptions about who you’d like to receive your property and who you’d like to make decisions regarding your property after you’ve passed away.

Is there a minimum estate I need to have before making a Will?

Whether you need a will depends on your family circumstances. If you are married with no children, the default state laws may work relatively well for you, if you want your spouse to receive everything. However, you lose the opportunity to do any Oregon Estate Transfer Tax planning or to provide for other family members, such as nieces and nephews or a charity. However, without a Will, you lose the opportunity to name a guardian for your children or to provide that your children will only receive property when they are old enough to appropriately manage the property. You also may want to designate who should receive your pets. With a Will, your family should be able to save on some probate costs. For example, a good Will may waive the requirement that the personal representative post bond prior to their appointment as personal representative; this only comes into play after your death.

What if I draft my own Will at home?

Paperwork can be surprisingly difficult for people to complete. It’s not uncommon for a person to unintentionally omit to fill out 10%-20% of the required information and no one will realize that important information is missing until it’s too late. Also, each state can vary with regard to the formalities of a validly executed Will.

If I need a Will, does my spouse also need a Will? In other words, can we do a joint Will?

Each spouse needs a separate Will. In a Will, you are stating your wishes regarding how you’d like your property distributed. Your right to control the distribution of assets after your death is an unalienable right; in other words, these decisions cannot be made by your spouse on your behalf. Historically, couples sometimes have used joint Wills but these are rarely seen due to the problems that resulted from their use.