Simple Will

If you die without a valid last will and testament, state law will decide what happens to your estate—and who inherits what—after your death. The easiest way to avoid this result is to prepare a simple will, also known as a basic will, to express your wishes.

Want to learn more about simple wills, the difference between a complex will and a simple will, and how you can create a simple will for yourself in a matter of minutes? Read on.

What Is a Simple Will?

A simple will is a legal document that details the wishes of the testator (the person writing the will) regarding asset distribution upon the testator’s death. Within the will, the testator names an executor, the person who will be in charge of handling the estate when the time comes.

A simple will can also be used to name a guardian for minor children as well as someone to handle the financial affairs of the children.

Difference Between Simple Will and Complex Will

On the other hand, if your estate would be subject to estate taxes upon your death, you would require more of a comprehensive estate plan, which means that a simple will just wouldn’t cut it.

In that situation, you should consult an estate attorney in your state to discuss drafting a complex will. Just as it sounds, a complex will is more in-depth and contains more complicated provisions than would be found in a simple will.

You should also consider a complex will in the following situations:

How to Create a Simple Will

Making a simple will does not have to be complicated. In fact, you could have your document ready in minutes by using an online simple will form. These forms are primarily fill-in-the-blanks and don’t take very long to complete, which means you could be holding your perfectly legal, simple will before you know it.

Still, even if you’re certain that all you need is a simple will, you may want to consult an attorney to make sure such a form has all your interests covered.

Whether you opt for a simple will, complex will, or another estate planning option, the most important thing is that you get your wishes recorded now so you know they will be followed once you’re gone. The peace of mind you'll acquire by doing so is truly priceless.

This information is not intended to be tax or legal advice, and it may not be relied 
on for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. You are encouraged to seek 
tax or legal advice from an independent professional advisor.