If you want to protect your loved ones after you’re gone, you should start thinking about estate planning now. This will ensure that your assets go exactly where you want them to — and could save your family a costly and emotionally taxing legal battle in the future.
Peters Law Firm works with clients in Council Bluffs, IA, to set up and modify wills and trusts. Our estate planning services will give you peace of mind for your family’s future and financial well-being.
Peters Law Firm provides comprehensive services for helping Iowa and Nebraska families plan for life after their death.
Contact our team to get started preparing your last will and testament today.
Benefits of Setting Up a Will or Trust
It's worth it to take time now to plan for the inevitable. By creating a will or trust now, you can:
- Ensure that your assets are going to your chosen beneficiaries.
- Help your loved ones avoid a lengthy, costly probate process.
- Choose the executor of your will.
- Name a guardian for your children.
- Lower taxes owed on your estate.
- Feel secure about your family's financial future.
You'll also be able to amend your will or trust as needed. While thinking about this subject can be uncomfortable, it's one of the best ways to protect your loved ones from future strife.
Understanding the Difference Between Wills & Trusts
It’s important to know the difference between wills and trusts. A will is a legal document that allows you to allocate your assets to beneficiaries at the time of your death. It may also include instructions for funeral arrangements, guardianship appointment, or trustees. The will becomes effective upon your death.
A living trust, on the other hand, is a legal arrangement in which you select a trustee to manage your assets and distribute them to your beneficiaries. The trustee must distribute the assets as you outline in your will. The living trust becomes effective once the assets are transferred to the trustee. Unlike wills, living trusts don’t have to go through probate.
An estate planning attorney can walk you through your options and help you decide what kind of estate plan is right for you.
When Should I Change My Will?
You can make changes to your will before your death. Wills should be reviewed and amended if:
- You get married or divorced.
- You move to or purchase property in another state.
- The laws surrounding taxes, property, trusts, or probate change.
- Your beneficiaries die or become very ill.
- You change your mind about who will inherit your assets.
- The size of your estate changes dramatically.
If you’re not sure whether a life event calls for reviewing your will, you should speak with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney from our law firm. We can help you make any necessary changes.
Frequently Asked Questions About Wills & Trusts
What happens if I don’t have a will?
In Nebraska, if you die without a will, it invokes the laws of intestacy. This means your surviving spouse will inherit the entire estate. If you have children with that spouse, the spouse will inherit the first $100,000 and half of the total balance.
How can a will be revoked?
A will may be revoked by either creating another will or canceling your will with the intent to revoke it. You need an estate planning attorney to help you create a new will or amend an existing one.
Is a last will and testament legally required?
A last will and testament isn’t legally required, but having one can help your loved ones avoid the strict laws of intestacy or probate. We highly recommend creating a last will and testament with a skilled estate planning attorney.
Seek Estate Planning Advice in Iowa or Nebraska
If you need to create a will or living trust, turn to Peters Law Firm. We’re a top-rated estate planning law firm serving clients in the Council Bluffs, IA, and Omaha, NE, areas. You can trust us to give you sound advice on estate planning matters and walk you through the process of creating a will or trust to protect your loved ones’ best interests.
Contact our team to get started today.