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Your Last Will and Testament

If you’re like most Americans, you’re very concerned about your family’s future once you pass on. Estate planning is a great way to ensure that your family will be taken care of when you’re no longer around to provide for them. A comprehensive last will and testament is an essential component of a sound estate plan. But writing a will can be a complicated affair. To make sure your will is drawn up properly, it’s a good idea to enlist the services of someone skilled and experienced in all elements of estate planning. Our Omaha will attorney at Bottlinger Law L.L.C. has been successfully guiding clients through the estate-planning process since 2006. Call our offices today at (402) 505-8234 for a free consultation.


If you do nothing else in terms of estate planning, it is vital that you have a last will and testament drawn up by a qualified attorney. If you happen to pass away before doing so, state law and the probate court will determine who gets your property and a judge will decide who will raise your children. To find out more about what a will can do for your family, read on.

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What a Will Can and Cannot Do

A will is a written statement of your final wishes that goes through probate after your death. You can use it to leave instructions about what happens to your property after you die, and to name guardians for your children.

However, some of the most valuable property you own may not go through probate, including:

  • Property you hold in joint tenancy with someone else (such as your spouse);
  • Proceeds of life insurance policies;
  • Money in a pension plan or individual retirement account; and
  • Property you have transferred to a revocable (living) trust.

A will alone will typically not allow you reduce the tax liability on your estate, prevent assets from being tied up in probate, make conditional gifts, or arrange for the care of a beneficiary who has special needs.

What Works with a Will

However, a will can work as an integral part of your estate plan to in conjunction with other estate-planning instruments, such as:

  • Trusts: Establishing a trust along with your will can help you reduce your tax liability and protect your assets from creditors or beneficiaries who may have poor spending habits. It can also allow you to arrange for the care of beneficiaries with special needs and specify to whom and when distributions will be made. A living (revocable) trust allows you to avoid probate, retain control of your assets during your lifetime, and pass them along to specific heirs after your death. A pour-over will can direct property into a living trust that was not previously referenced in the trust document.
  • Durable Power of Attorney: This is a document often written along with a will to appoint someone else to handle your affairs should the need arise. The person you appoint should be someone you trust, completely, to make financial and medical decisions that could significantly impact your life and assets.

Wills for Young Professionals

For working professionals who are young and have a new family, a will is an important safety net to ensure that your loved ones will be looked after in accordance to your wishes. With the boom in the tech industry across the Midwest, we have seen more young professionals starting families, but not taking the proper steps to protect the most important people in their lives in case the unthinkable happens. Setting up a will is important at any stage in life because it allows you to determine:

  • The legal guardianship of your children.
  • The executer or trustee of your estate.
  • All desired beneficiaries and what you want them to receive.
  • How and in what way your estate and assets will be distributed.

It is important to remember to review your estate plan regularly so that it reflects the changing nature of your personal circumstances as time goes on. It is recommended that a will be updated at least once a year. If your family has a major change, such as divorce or big promotion, or you receive an additional certification in your job, for example, you should review and amend your will immediately.

Contact an Omaha Estate-Planning Attorney

Estate planning can be a complex matter with a wide range of factors to consider. At Bottlinger Law L.L.C., we are well-versed in the law and the intricacies associated with estate-planning strategies. We can help you determine where your resources should go to protect your assets, reduce your tax liability, and best provide for your family. A properly prepared will and other estate-planning documents can give you peace of mind, knowing that your loved ones are protected. Our Omaha estate-planning lawyer can help you ensure that your hard-earned assets will go where you want them to go, instead of where state law and a probate judge decide. Just call (402) 505-8234 and let us help you get your affairs in order.

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“Can’t recommend enough. Jason and his staff were professional, pleasant, and explained the whole trust/ will process thoroughly and in terms I could understand. Just a very positive experience with something I was admittedly far from excited to do.”
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