A will or testament is a legal document by which a person, the testator, expresses their wishes as to how their property is to be distributed at death, and names one or more persons, the executor, to manage the estate until its final distribution. For the devolution of property not disposed of by will, we can see inheritance and intestacy.
All wills are required to meet certain standards in order to be considered valid in a court of law. Writing your own will is a relatively straightforward process if your assets and bequests are also straightforward. In these circumstances, as long as you comply with the laws of your state, your will is likely to stand up in a court of law and be executed according to your wishes. Write the introduction to the will. Start by clearly labelling the document “Last Will and Testament.” Next, state your full name and address, and testify that you are over the age of 18, are of sound mind and are not making the will under pressure. Assess and divide your property. List your assets, including real estate, bank accounts, retirement accounts, stocks, bonds, and tangible assets, then assign your heirs a percentage of your total assets. Sign the will. If you have created a will through an online program, you have the document sent to you before signing it then you should sign it. Some states require that your signature be notarized, meaning signed in the presence of a public notary and stamped with the notary’s seal. Ask witnesses to sign the will.
We will be discussing some will ahead:-
Simple Wills: Simple will are most often used and all that is needed is direction on how to distribute simple assets from the estate to the beneficiaries. A simple will must be in writing and should be typed instead of handwritten. The general elements of a will are the testator’s name, address and marital status; and instructions as to which property goes to which beneficiaries. The executor for the estate should also be named. The executor should also mention the guardian for any minor children. The testator and the witnesses need to sign and date the will.
Testamentary Trust Wills: A testamentary trust will is different because it includes provisions that place a portion of your estate into a trust. Based on the terms of the testamentary trust, your assets are distributed to your beneficiaries, through the trustee who controls those assets. The format of a testamentary trust will is often quite similar to that of a simple will.
Joint Wills: Joint wills are often used by spouses who intend to leave their property to one another. The surviving testator will inherit everything on the deceased spouse’s estate. Then, when the surviving testator passes away, the remaining estate will be distributed to the couple’s chosen beneficiaries, pursuant to the terms of the will. One thing to remember is that a joint will cannot be revoked once the first testator dies. The format of a joint will is also similar to a simple will.
Living Wills: The purpose of a living will is entirely different from that of the three other types discussed here. The purpose of a living will is to provide detailed instructions about the type of medical treatment or life-saving measures you want to be used if you become unable to communicate those wishes for yourself. For instance, your living will specify that in the event you become terminally ill and unconscious, you do not wish to be put on a feeding tube or a ventilator, even if you would die without those measures.
Deciding which property to include in your will: The first step in deciding which specific property should be left to whom, you need to make a list of everything on your own. The next step is to eliminate all property or assets that are not required to go through probate in order to be passed on to your heirs.
Types Of Property And Assets To Include In A Will:
• Real property, such as real estate, land, and buildings
• Cash, including money in checking accounts, savings accounts, and money market accounts, etc.
• Intangible personal property, such as stocks, bonds, and other forms of business ownership, as well as intellectual property, royalties, patents, and copyrights, etc.
• The unproductive property, such as valuable objects like cars, artwork, jewellery, and furniture, etc.
An Executor or Personal Representative needs to be identified: A necessary component of every will is the identification of a trusted individual to make sure the terms of your will are followed. The executor is responsible for guiding your estate through the probate process and ensuring that your property is distributed to your beneficiaries, according to the will. An executor can either be a professional or a family member or a friend.