Wills

If you’re a Delaware resident and you die without a Will, the distribution of your assets will be determined by the intestacy laws enacted by our General Assembly. Rather than have State law dictate who gets your property, you can take control of these matters by having a Will. Even if you’re not concerned about how your assets will be distributed upon your death, you should still have a Will to arrange for a guardianship for your children if they’re under the age of 18 at the time of your death. Another important reason for having a Will is to make arrangements for the care of your pets after you die.

We know that making an appointment with a Delaware Wills attorney is something you think about from time to time, and if you’re like most people you think to yourself “I’ll get to this one day.” Preparing a Will is easy to postpone, especially when you think you have to put together a list of everything that you have, and that you’ll be dealing with an attorney who talks over your head. Our office has been helping clients with Wills for more than 25 years, and we will make this process easier than you might think. You won’t have to make an inventory of your assets, and we’ll explain everything to you so that you really understand the process. A great many years ago, John B. Kelly, Sr., a wealthy and famous Philadelphian, and the father of Grace Kelly wrote his Will. Here’s how it starts:

For years I have been reading Last Wills and Testaments, and I have never been able to clearly understand any of them at one reading. Therefore, I will attempt to write my own Will with the hope that it will be understandable and legal. Kids will be called “kids” and not “issue” and it will not be cluttered up with “parties of the first part,” “per stirpes,” “perpetuities,” “quasi judicial,” “to wit” and a lot of other terms that I am sure are only use to confuse those for whose benefit it is written.

This is my Last Will and Testament and I believe I am of sound mind. (Some lawyers will question this when they read my Will, however, I have my opinion on some of them, so that makes it even).

With the philosophy of John B. Kelly, Sr, in mind, our goal when we draft your Will is to give you a document that is not only legally enforceable and carries out your wishes, but which is also understandable when you read it.

Here are some of the things we’ll talk with you about when you come in to have Wills drawn up.

If both you and your spouse should die while your children are still minors, who do you want to name as the guardian of your children? If that person is unable to act as guardian, who would the alternate guardian be?

If both you and your spouse should die while your children are still minors, who do you want to name as the trustee (the person who will safeguard their money until they’re older)? If your children are over 18 but still in their early 20's, they may not be responsible enough to receive all of the money in your estate, in which case you would want the funds to remain in the past their 18th birthday. What age would you like to set as the age at which they can receive everything?

In the event of a “common disaster,” which means that you are not survived by your spouse or your children, who would you like to leave everything to? (Note: Most people say 50% to my parents and siblings, and 50% to my spouse’s parents and siblings).

The “Executor” of an estate is the person you name to administer your estate. He takes charge of your assets, files tax returns, pays debts and taxes, and distributes your assets to your beneficiaries in accordance with your wishes. Your first choice will probably be your spouse. Who do you want to name as the Executor of your estate if your spouse is not living or able to act as Executor upon your death (or if you are not married)?

If you have pets, who’s going to care for them after your death? You’ll want your pets cared for in a manner that any responsible, devoted pet owner would afford to his own pets. It’s important to make arrangements for short term care and long term care.

To arrange an appointment, call our office at (302) 239-1140 or use the “contact us” area of this page.