The term "simple will" is often used to describe a certain standard type of will that many people get. Before getting one for yourself, you need to understand what it means.
Estate planning attorneys are used to clients saying they just need to get a simple will. Many people are told by others, long before they visit an estate planning attorney, that a simple will is what they need to get. However, what a client might mean by a simple will is not necessarily what the attorney thinks it is.
Estate planning attorneys use the term to normally mean a particular type of will that has standard features.
Recently, the Courier Journal explained what those features are in "Thank You and Simple Wills."
A simple will normally refers to a relatively short document the primary feature of which is directing that all of the testator’s assets should go to a spouse. In the event the spouse has predeceased, then a simple will almost always directs that all assets be shared between the testator's children in equal shares. A simple will might also include basic information about who should be the guardian of any minor children the testator has.
That is normally all that a simple will contains, but there might be a few more basic provisions in some circumstances.
It should be obvious that a simple will is not the appropriate estate planning document for everyone.
So, before telling an estate planning attorney you need a simple will, tell the attorney what you hope to accomplish with your estate plan. The attorney can then help direct you to the proper legal instrument for your needs.