The ABCs of a Good Will

Most people seem to agree that having a Last Will and Testament is important … and that every will, to be worthwhile, needs to be good. If this is so, the question naturally arises: What makes a will good?

How does one know whether his or her will is right? Here are three features that help to answer these questions. Apply them to your own situation to discover whether or not your will can accomplish what you expect it to do.

Accurate. A good will conforms to the legal requirements of the state in which you reside. It is prepared and signed correctly, and it fully expresses your desires regarding the disposition of your estate. It also adequately addresses such issues as guardianships, trusts and trustees, business succession, final declarations, and other important matters your situation may require. When your will is completed and tucked away for safekeeping, you want to have the confidence that it was done accurately.

Benevolent. A good will does good. That is, it addresses the needs of your spouse, dependents, and others who are within the circle of your responsibility. Further, it does good by providing support for those organizations that reflect your most important values and concerns. We at Saint Leo University would like to think that group includes us.

Current. A good will is up-to-date. It incorporates the most recent changes in tax law and reflects changes in your own life. Actually, professional advisors recommend that you review your will at least once a year. For example, you may no longer have minor children at home, and perhaps someone close to you has died or become dependent. You may have new grandchildren, and changes may have occurred financially that have changed your estate tax status. Whatever the case, it is good to have a current will.

 

Is Saint Leo University a part of your estate? Contact Stephen Kubasek, director of Planned Giving, at (352) 588-8355 or stephen.kubasek@saintleo.edu if you would like to include a gift to Saint Leo University in your estate plan.

 
The information on this website is not intended as legal or tax advice. For such advice, please consult an attorney or tax advisor. Figures cited in examples are for hypothetical purposes only and are subject to change. References to estate and income taxes include federal taxes only. State income/estate taxes or state law may impact your results.