9 Ways a Will or Trust can Benefit You and Your Family


Make Your Desires Known to the Court

  1. Guardianship of Minor Children – For most people this is the most important concern.  In your Will you can specify which adult will take care of your children in your absence.  You also get to choose who you would want to fill that role if your first choice is unable to serve or doesn’t qualify.   If you do not specify, the court will be forced to follow legal rules that don’t consider who would be best suited for this important job.  And, unfortunately, they may be forced to pick someone who is meets legal requirements but does not reflect your personal values to raise your children.

  2. Distribution of Assets – This is another big concern for most people for the simple reason that they want to know that the people they love will be cared for.  You know who you want to get the house.   Put it in a legal document so the Court knows, too.  If you do not, the state intestacy rules will decide.

  3. Distribution of Personal or Sentimental Items – Do you want to Aunt Sally to have your grandmother’s ring?  Who should get your prized baseball card collection?   Making your wishes known in your will is a good way to avoid family conflict and to make sure that your valued possessions go to the person you have intended them to go to.  If you don’t the state will be forced to distribute them according to intestate succession rules.

  4. Final Arrangements – A will is a perfect way to take the burden off of your loved ones when it comes time to making final arrangements for you.  Let them know your specific desires regarding  cremation, funeral directives, etc. so that they won’t have to guess about what you would have wanted. 

  5. Executor/Executrix of your Estate – Someone will have to be appointed by the Court to take the lead role in closing out your estate.   Naming this person in your will allows you to protect certain loved ones from taking on a difficult task.  You can even name more than one person so they can share the load.  Or,  you can take it off of their plate entirely by getting assistance from our attorneys at Crane Lane, LLP. 

  6. Take Care of Your Pet(s)  - Not sure what will happen to your beloved dog or cat when you are gone?  Name a caretaker in your will so that others will know your wishes.  You can even make sure they have enough money to be well cared for by including them in your distribution of funds or setting up a separate trust for their care.   


  1. Minimize Estate Taxes – A Trust isn’t for everyone, but if you have significant assets, you might benefit from setting one up so you can minimize death penalty taxes.  It is a solid investment because it saves money in the long run.  Why let your hard earned money go to taxes when it could be left as a blessing to those you love?  The Attorneys at Crane Lane, LLP will meet with you and discuss your options to determine whether a Will or Trust would be meet your needs best.

  2. Avoid Lengthy and Draining Probate Procedures - The death of a loved one is one of the most difficult and emotional times of our lives.  A Will can help your family avoid special probate hearings that will be needed if no will is in place.  They are time consuming and expensive and can be avoided simply by having a will. 

  3. Avoid Unnecessary Conflict – The last thing anyone wants to think is that their loved ones will get into a conflict trying to claim something from your estate.  But, in reality it does happen.  It can be minimized by making your wishes well known in a legally binding will, so that there is no room for dispute.