A will outlines what will happen to your property after you pass away. You nominate a personal representative, sometimes referred to as an executor, to carry out your wishes. A will does not avoid probate but there are some distinct advantages to drafting a will.
First, a will allows you to nominate who will act on your behalf. This person, known as a personal representative, will be responsible for filing court papers (usually accomplished through an attorney), paying off final bills, and ultimately distributing the funds to your intended beneficiaries.
Second, a will allows you to direct your assets to the beneficiaries you want and in the method you desire. For example, you can disinherit an heir, create a trust for an heir who may not be able to manage finances for themselves, give to charities or people who are not natural heirs.
Third, a will generally makes probate less expensive because you can opt to waive bond so long as your personal representative is trustworthy.
For more information about a will or estate planning, please call NW Estate Law at (503) 445-2232 or email to schedule a meeting with attorney Meredith Williamson.