A last will and testament—or more simply, a will—is an important estate-planning tool that designates how you want your personal assets to be distributed and your loved ones cared for. It is a detailed plan for your surviving family members and beneficiaries, so you should understand why creating a will during your lifetime is so important and how an experienced attorney can help you draft one.
What a Will Does
If you die without a will, state law determines how your assets will be distributed—and it’s possible those decisions would not be what you wanted. When you create a will, you can:
Name an executor.
When you die, an executor makes sure your will is carried out properly during the probate process.
Leave assets to beneficiaries.
You may choose to leave family heirlooms, money, a business, or property to certain people, and you may specify these details in your will.
Name a guardian.
If you have minor children, your will specifies who will care for them after you’re gone.
Name a trustee.
You may also put assets into a trust for your minor children until they come of age, and that requires appointing a trustee in your will—someone who will distribute the assets according to the timeline you choose.
Creating a Will Is Easy
While Rhode Island does not require its citizens to have a will, even those with small estates should meet with an attorney and create a will. In Rhode Island, a valid will need only be:
- Created by someone age 18 or older
- Typed and printed, or handwritten
- Made by someone of sound mind
- Written with beneficiaries in mind
- Signed by at least two witnesses
- Signed by the creator of the will, also known as the testator
Are You In Need Of A Probate Attorney In Rhode Island?
If you find yourself in need of an experienced probate attorney in Rhode Island please contact us online or call our Warwick office directly at 401.946.3200 to schedule your free consultation. We help clients in Providence, Warwick and all areas of Rhode Island.