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“All to son.” This sets the record for the shortest known Will according to Texas Tech University School of Law. On the other side, the longest Will was 1,066 pages and 95,940 words. So how long should your Will or Trust be?
While 3 words are not enough, over 95,000 equals overkill. There is no “right” answer on how long your Will or Trust should be. Since everyone has different goals, different family issues, and different assets to protect, everyone’s plans should be different and have different word counts. If you are ever presented a plan that fits either “record” above, our advice is simple: run.
If you want to build a roadmap for your loved ones upon your death or incapacity, then having too short of a plan is problematic. While it may seem simple given that you can read it in under 10 minutes, this form of simplicity is likely going to cause some practical complications during administration. Wills/Trusts that are too short tend to leave out the “what to do” when things do not go as planned. A Will that only says “all to son” may result in half of the inheritance going to an ex-spouse or accidentally skipping a grandchild in favor of a deceased child’s spouse’s new spouse (yes…read that again!). Did you know a new spouse has a better right to inherit than your children and grandchildren? The guy who wrote the “all to son” likely did not. We believe in making things easy and simple, but that often means a 10-page Will or Trust is not going to cut it. It leaves out so much that it actually does the opposite and causes complications and unintended consequences.
On the other hand, setting up a solid roadmap for your family that is not too complicated does not require thousands of pages. If your plan is too long, your wishes may get “missed” by the mere volume of the Will/Trust. While “we lawyers” tend to get wordy (yes…they add words to the water in law school), getting this wordy is going to leave your loved ones scratching their heads.
If you have a plan that seems a little “light” and you want to know what specific risks you are taking, come in for a no-fee review. Our team will take you through your plan so you know what risks you are taking and can decide whether or not you are okay with those risks. Call us at 605-777-1772 or contact us to get scheduled today. You decide your risk tolerance. We make it simple.
This is not what you do every day. It is what we do. Let us help provide the resources you need to make an informed decision.
We’re ready to start this journey with you.
Contact us to schedule a consultation.