I recently had a conversation where someone asked me if he could have two legal Wills at time of death? The purpose was to add a separate Will for one item to a different person without disclosing all the bequests, or gifts, he wanted to make in his first Will.
Simply put, no, an individual cannot have two separate Wills. Everything you own should be distributed through your one Last Will and Testament, unless you have a Trust which is an excellent vehicle to pass your estate to your loved ones. You may include separate provisions for each piece of property of you wish to bequest to beneficiaries, but you should not have a separate Will.
If you leave two Wills that are different in any way, you open up your estate to a Will contest in Probate court. A contest defeats the very purpose of creating an estate plan. A Will contest is time consuming and can be expensive. And unfortunately, the person you chose as Personal Representative will have to use your Estate’s funds to defend the validity of your Will, resulting in a smaller estate to give to your beneficiaries.
If you have minor children, a Will contest can prolong the time period between your passing and the Guardians of your choice having the authority to raise your children.
Suppose there are certain gifts that you would like to make, but do not want them to become public for whatever reason. An estate planning attorney can help you make that gift, without creating a second Will.
Schedule a conversation with Justin Jeppesen to take the first step towards creating your complete estate plan! With our Free Initial Consultation we help our clients explore their own situations and plan for their futures. If you have more questions, we'd love to help! Contact Jeppesen Law now. (208) 477-1785