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Don’t Write Your Own Will

May 16, 2019

By Thomas McCutcheon

I have seen several “homemade” Wills or Wills created through a kit ordered over the internet. These self made Wills often create more problems than they solve.

We’ve seen people name banks that are no longer in existence as Executors. What an unnecessary and expensive problem that is. We’ve seen Wills that dispose of all of the real property without addressing who gets the personal property. We’ve seen the reverse of that particular problem.

During the month of November, 2020, McCutcheon & Hamner will write free Wills for a $25 donation to the church or charity of your choice. We have Will questionnaires that you can download or pick up from a stack by the door in our office. When you fill it out, you will need to know how you want your property divided and who you want to be in charge of carrying out the terms of your Will.

We want a first choice and a second choice as to the person in charge of your Will. This person is the Executor (male) or Executrix (female).

Remember that what you have now may not be what you’ll have at the time of your death. That’s why you don’t have to make a decision about the property you now have. We divide it according to what you do have at the time of your death, hopefully decades from now.

For example, people often leave their estate first to the spouse and then to the children. If a husband and wife have Wills that are mirror images, known as reciprocal Wills, they accomplish the goals of leaving everything first to each other and then to the children. We recommend that people consider using the phrase “per stirpes”. “Per stirpes” simply means that in the event a child dies before a parent and if that child had children, then those (grand) children would get what their parent would have received and no more or less.

All Wills should contain a residuary clause that leaves everything, no matter what it is or where it is, to the heirs so that everything owned whether it’s a right, an object or a piece of property is included in the Will.

Hopefully, this offer will help churches and charities in our area and allow members of our community to talk to Joel or I about important decisions that must be made.

Call our office (256) 333-5000, stop by, or download a Will Questionnaire.

Be safe and healthy.

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