Last week, I had an interview with James Striar who is a real estate attorney specializing in wills, estates and trusts. Here is part 1 of his interview.
Brian: Maybe you can just give us a little information as to what should be included in a will or what things that you normally see that are often missing in a will?
James: Sure. A lot of times people delay making a will for a variety of reasons but eventually, hopefully, they get around to it whatever stage in life that you’re at – whether you’re single, you’re getting married, having children. As far as the will itself, obviously you want to have a very clear idea of how you want your assets to go, who you want them to go to. Obviously, most of the time it’s spouse to spouse. Then if not then to the children or some combination of. Everybody’s situation is different in whatever stage in life they’re at. You wanna be as clear as possible. Think it out as well as possible whether you’re speaking to your attorney, your spouse. You’re going to have to name an executor – the person who
you’re putting in charge of handling the estate. Generally, that person is gonna be somebody that you trust. Most of the times it’s a spouse. If there is no spouse, a sibling. Somebody who is of similar age or possibly even a little younger depending on the age of the person making the will. Generally, you don’t necessarily want to have somebody much older than you be the executor for just age reasons- lifespan. You’re gonna want to name an alternate executor as well just in case the person that you appoint isn’t around or isn’t able to serve as the fiduciary. Some people wanna have co-executors. Maybe they have a brother and sister and they don’t want to choose or maybe choose one over the other. Maybe one sibling lives far away and the other lives close. There might be practical reasons to only chose one over both but often times, for sentimental reasons or not wanting to hurt somebody’s feelings, people would choose co-executors. There’s pros and cons to each of those. Once you’ve allocated who you want your assets to go to, how much to each party or person, some people obviously give to charities or foundations, you wanna have your executor. If there’s anything specific whether it’s a piece of property i.e. real estate, whether it’s a particular brokerage account or bank account, or jewelry, that’s gonna be laid out in the will specifically so there’s no confusion or there’s no arguing after the fact.
Brian Silvestry, is a licensed real estate broker since 1999. You can find him on social media on facebook, instagram,twitter and youtube.