The Difference Between Simple Wills and Complex Wills

If you want to have any say in how your estate is distributed and keep the state out of your affairs, you’ll want to have a will. Whether you have a simple will or a complex one depends primarily on how large your estate is and the manner in which you want distribute your property. In this blog post we’re going to break down the differences between simple and complex wills to help you decide which type of will can serve you best.

The Difference Between Simple Wills and Complex Wills

A will is a legal document that lets you make known your desires when it comes to what happens with your property and other assets such as money, furniture, fine art, and other possessions upon your death. A will also allows you to appoint a guardian to take care of your underage child in the event of your death.

The primary difference between simple wills and complex wills is that complex wills, as the name suggests, typically deal with more complex matters such as trusts, business dealings, and larger estates. You’ll want to talk to a trusts and estate planning attorney when constructing a complex will. This will help you make sure that all of the legal aspects of planning that aspect of your estate are satisfied (we’ll dive more into that a little later).

The Differences Between Simple Wills and Complex Wills Further Explained

Simple Wills

Simple wills are named as such because they are typically more straightforward and less complicated than complex wills. These types of wills are helpful for transferring property after your passing in a straightforward way, with few strings attached.

Simple wills are most beneficial for:

  • Individuals under 50.
  • Individuals whose estates small enough to be exempt from estate taxes.
  • Situations where distribution likely will not be contested.

A simple will is a great way to delegate the basics, such as the testator, beneficiaries, and executor of the estate. They’re ideal for single or married individuals with low assets and no children.

Complex Wills

Like we mentioned, complex wills typically deal with trusts, business owners, and larger estates that are subject to estate taxes. A complex will may also be necessary if you’re divorced, have a blended family, or wish to set up a joint will with a spouse. This is because there are more laws and more complex matters associated with these sorts of situations.

Wills can become more complex as you age, acquire wealth, and grow your family.

Complex wills are helpful when establishing special needs trusts to ensure a disabled child is taken care of. Complex wills also entail naming guardian for minor children and help set up specific designation of assets for children and grandchildren.

Complex wills also cover the following:

  • Charitable donations
  • Business affairs (such as who inherits the business, vision, etc.),
  • and no-contest clauses

For more information on the differences and benefits of simple and complex wills, contact us today.

Published 02/28/2022.