Writing a will is one of the most important undertakings that a person takes during his lifetime.
A will is a legal document that specifies a person’s wishes about his property, his estate and future of his children after he dies.
A will allows you to designate a legal guardian for your children. This is an important decision and one should make this decision as soon as the children are born.
Your will can also name an executor for your estate.
The executor will be responsible for distributing your assets among the beneficiaries of your will after you die. It is the executor’s responsibility to handle your estate according to the instructions you have left for him in your will.
If you die without a will, it will cause a lot of problems for your family. The court then takes up the onus of choosing an executor for your estate and the chosen person would then divide your property and assets based on the laws of the state.
However, if you wish your property and assets to be divided in particular manner, it is very important that you have a will otherwise decisions relating to your property and children will be decided by the court.
When you do make a will, make sure you sign it in the presence of two witnesses, who are eighteen years and above, in order for your will to be deemed legal.
The best way to make your will legal is to approach an attorney who specializes in family law. Estate planning is part of family law and the lawyer will draft your will and sign it to ensure that it becomes a legal document and also your wishes will be carried out after you pass away.
Last Will And Testament
A will or testament is a document by which a person (the testator) regulates the rights of others over his property after death. The requirements for the creation of a will are:
- The person must be over the age of 18 years.
- The testator must clearly identify himself and declare that he revokes all previous wills and codicils (attachments).
- He must declare that he is acting freely and willingly.
- He must sign and date the will, in the presence of two disinterested witnesses. The testator’s signature must be placed at the end of the will.
When a person dies, a probate proceeding is initiated to take care of his property.
The will usually names an executor, who is assigned the task of carrying out the wishes of the testator.
A probate proceeding also helps to ascertain the validity of the will.
For this reason, it is better to take legal advice while drafting a will, although the law does not make it mandatory. If there is some technical website mistake in the will, it can be declared invalid by the probate.
Wills are of different types. A holographic will is signed and dated in the testator’s own handwriting.
It is common in emergency situations when the testator is nearing death.
A joint will is a single document signed by both the husband and wife, which makes a disposition of their property on the death of either or both of them.
A “pour over will” places the assets of the estate into a trust that is created during one’s lifetime.