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Will or Trust: They Are More Than Legalese

A will or trust can be one of the most important legal documents you’ll ever create. A will or trust dictates how you want your assets distributed after you’re gone. But beyond legalities, a will or trust is a reflection of your life. It reveals who and what mattered most to you, and it is the final gesture by which you’ll be remembered.

A well-planned will or trust relieves family members from having to guess your final wishes during their time of grief, and it ensures that everyone is taken care of in the manner you specify. When you provide for an organization such as Stanford University School of Medicine or Stanford Health Care in your will or trust, you also extend your legacy of caring and generosity.

A will or trust has extraordinary potential. Consider what a will or trust can do for you:

  • Name a guardian for minor children (will only)
  • Make financial arrangements for family members
  • Provide for a pet
  • Protect your business
  • Forgive a debt
  • Direct the division of your property (so the state does not)
  • Choose the executor for your estate or trustee of your trust
  • Reduce estate administration expenses
  • Provide for a charitable organization

Already Have a Will or Trust?

Make sure it’s up-to-date. Life changes such as the following should trigger a review of your will or trust:

  • Birth
  • Death
  • Change in marital status
  • Increased/decreased estate value
  • Move to another state

Contact your estate planning attorney to make any changes.

Want to Add Us to Your Existing Will or Trust?

You don’t need to create a new will or trust. Ask your attorney to prepare a codicil to your original will or amendment to your trust. These documents are a simple way to amend your original documents. This is a common way to make minor changes.

Your Will Can Further Our Mission

Please contact Carol Kersten, Tish Loeb, or Jamie Downes at 650.723.6560 or pgmed@stanford.edu to discuss how your future gift can make a meaningful difference.

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