Drafting a will is not difficult, but there are a lot of small points that you need to address in order for your will to be complete. If you aren’t experienced with creating wills or don’t know a lot about the practical effects that certain clauses have, you may wonder why those clauses are there. Let’s take a look at a couple of the more common will clauses you may encounter and why you need to have them in your last will and testament.
If you create a will and leave property to children who are under the age of 18, your will should include a minor clause. That’s “minor” in the sense that it relates to the property that a non-adult can inherit. Such a clause will typically provide that the child’s guardian be responsible for managing the property until the minor child reaches adulthood. Without such a clause, the court might have to appoint someone to manage the property.
When you make your will you will probably make specific choices about who will receive specific property. For example, you might direct that each of your grandchildren receive $25,000, or your children will inherit your real estate as co-tenants. However, you may acquire more property between the time you draft your will and the time when you die, or you may simply not want to take the time to inventory everything you have and specifically direct how it should pass after you die. This is why it’s common to include a residuary clause. This clause directs that anything you haven’t specifically identified in your will passes to someone else. For example, you might direct that the residuary of your estate should be divided between your grandchildren or go to charity.
Byrd : Garrett, PLLC is a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys.