Wills & Estate Administration

Most people need an attorney twice in their lives...when they buy a house and when they write their will. Unfortunately many attorneys treat will drafting as something they have to do in order to offer a full line of services. Not Ward Armstrong.

Over the years Ward has attended seminars and continuing legal education classes to make sure he stays up-to-date on the latest estate planning details. And while in the legislature he helped write the laws that govern wills and estate administration.

The main reason a person writes a will hasn't changed in hundreds of years. A person executes a will to make sure his or her loved ones inherit their property when they die. Still, how and when property passes can affect how easy the will is to administer and what it will cost.

Here's an example. In a typical scenario a husband and wife both want the surviving spouse to inherit all the property. If the other spouse has already died, most then want their property to go to their children in equal shares. If a child predeceases both parents, they will want the deceased child's share to be given to their kids, that is, the grandchildren.

But if either the children or grandchildren who inherit are under the age of 18, the money or property must come under court supervision. Court supervision means a judge has to approve any principal distributions, even for such legitimate expenses as educational costs or medical care. So what's the problem?

A principal distribution usually requires that a petition be drafted and filed by an attorney (with a second lawyer serving as a guardian for the underage child or grandchild) to ask for court approval. Two lawyers on the meter is an expensive way to manage these assets...particularly when it's your estate that will pay for these attorneys.

Ward can write a will to easily get around this problem. And that's just one of many examples where a properly drafted will can save you and your family administrative costs and trouble.

Usually people will also need a business/financial power of attorney, a medical power of attorney and a living will (remember Terri Schiavo?) to have a complete estate planning package. Ward Armstrong can draft the documents you need to make sure your family and loved ones are protected.

Call Ward today and he'll send you a free brochure entitled "Why You Need a Will" written by Ward's law school professor, J. Rodney Johnson.

Ward Armstrong...a lawyer fighting for you!

BEWARE! ...of will drafting packages that you can order cheaply over the internet. Nothing takes the place of a well-trained estate planning attorney who knows the law and will get you the exact documents you need. Don't be penny wise and pound foolish.

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