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What are the important terms of a will?

On Behalf of | Nov 29, 2023 | Estate Planning

In Washington State, a will is like your personalized guidebook for what happens to your belongings once you’re not around. First up, the “Testator” is simply the person writing the will—yep, that’s you! You’re the maestro, calling the shots on who gets your favorite guitar or that treasured family heirloom. Then there’s the “Executor,” sort of like the conductor of this whole operation. This person’s job is to make sure everything in your will gets carried out just the way you planned.

Now, onto the good stuff: “Bequests.” These are your way of saying, “Hey, cousin Lou gets my vinyl collection,” or “My niece Sarah gets my vintage typewriter.” These are the specific gifts you’re handing out to folks. But here’s the twist: what about things not specifically mentioned? Enter the “Residuary Estate.” Think of it as the safety net for all the odds and ends that aren’t named in your will. It catches everything else, making sure it’s taken care of according to your overall wishes.

Also, if you’ve got kids, “Guardianship” is super important. This part of your will says who should take care of them if something happens to you. And here’s a pro tip: always have a couple of witnesses (two in Washington) sign your will. It’s like giving it an official stamp of approval, making sure everything’s on the level when the time comes. Simple, right? Making your will clear as day helps your loved ones understand your game plan without any confusion later on.

Understanding a will’s terms is crucial, yet navigating Washington State’s legalities in will-making can be complex. A local attorney acts as your guide, deciphering legal jargon and ensuring compliance with state rules. Our expertise can guarantee your wishes are crystal clear and legally binding, covering every detail from drafting to witnessing. Consulting our firm is key for a flawlessly executed will, offering peace of mind and assurance that your wishes are properly documented.