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Family month meeting - Estate Planning, Part 1 Presenter: Sis. Sylvan Edwards, Attorney-at-law Family estate and the complications that may arise after death are enough reasons to have a proper plan in place for your estate. During her presentation at the Boulevard Baptist Church Family Month Meeting, Sis. Sylvan explained that estate planning involves more than just writing a Will. She provided some important points that should be taken into consideration in the planning process which includes the following: - it must be prepared by someone who is legally competent, in good health and free from emotional stress. Your estate is property that you own, and includes house, land, car, business, stocks, bonds, life insurance, jewellery and household articles in your own home. Liabilities are also a part of your estate. A good estate plan minimizes costs and allows transactions to be done in a timely manner. Some of the tools used in estate planning are Wills, joint ownership, trust documents, pre-nuptial agreements and a Power of Attorney. In Part 1 of the series of articles on Estate Planning, we will focus on the making of Wills. Anyone 18 years and older and of a sound mind may prepare a Will. It should not be prepared under undue influence and duress. Wills may be altered at anytime before death but it is the last Will that will take effect. An old Will may or may not be destroyed; a new one, which is the last Will is the one that is valid. You may change your executor, remove or add a beneficiary and change your gifts as many times as you wish. The Will can be hand written or typed and must be dated. It should be signed by the Testator (the person making the Will), or by someone in his presence or on his own directive. The Testator must affix his signature in the presence of at least two witnesses, none of whom should be a beneficiary. A Will is automatically revoked by marriage. It should be prepared even if you don’t think it is necessary and is the only effective way to appoint a guardian to care for your children and for your physically or mentally disabled adult relatives. You should name the beneficiaries of your life insurance policies in your Will, instead of benefit to the estate and remember to ask your lawyer or executor to keep the Will. In part two we will look at Joint Ownership. Send your comments and questions to

Your lawyer's advice-Estate planning  

Family month meeting - Estate Planning, Part 1 Presenter: Sis. Sylvan Edwards, Attorney-at-law

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