Are you planning to leave the property of your estate to family members or friends after you die? If so, you’ll need to prepare a document called a “last will and testament” or “will” so you can leave different parts of your estate to the people you care about the most.
A will lets you specify who you want to receive various properties you own upon your death. These can include real estate, royalties, cars, bank account funds, personal items, etc. Preparing a will is a great way to give peace of mind to you and your loved ones in the event that you pass on. You don’t have to be an older person to have a will either. People of all ages should consider where their assets will go if something takes their life prematurely.
Different state laws govern how wills are executed in their respective states. Generally, any adult of sound mind who is 18 or older may create a will. The person making and executing the will is considered the “testator.” Their job is to select an executor to manage the distribution of their assets after they die. The will document must be dated, notarized, and signed by the testator in front of a notary and up to two additional witnesses.
There are three primary types of wills to consider creating for the distribution of your assets upon death. Each type serves a specific purpose based on various circumstances you might face. Some states may allow you to execute oral or handwritten wills, but not all of them do. Therefore, it is always better to have a typed-out will that abides by your state’s laws.
1) Simple Will
The most popular type of will is a “simple will.” For example, if you want to decide who gets your assets upon your death, you would list these specifications on a simple will document. In addition, you can also use this document to grant guardianship of your minor children to someone else too. Filling out a simple will is relatively straightforward. In fact, many people download a simple will form online and fill them out on their own. However, it is always better to consult an attorney for legal advice to ensure you’re doing everything correctly.
2) Testamentary Trust Will
A testamentary trust will lets you move your assets into a trust. You’ll have the power to name a trustee to manage the trust and the beneficiaries who are entitled to receive the assets in the trust upon your death. A testamentary trust will is a popular choice for people who want to leave their assets to minors and children not old enough to manage the assets on their own through an inheritance. Then, once they come of age, the trustee is instructed to distribute the designated assets from the trust to the beneficiaries.
3) Living Will
A living will is a different kind of will because it doesn’t concern the distribution of your assets to family members or beneficiaries upon your death. It actually doesn’t have anything to do with your death. Instead, it allows you to specify which medical treatments you’d like to be given if an injury or illness causes you to become unconscious and incapacitated for an extended period. You can also use a living will to specify which people you’d like to make healthcare decisions for you while you’re incapacitated. Different states have different laws regarding healthcare directives like a healthcare power of attorney, proxy, and living will. It is best to consult a lawyer in your state to learn more about these laws.
You don’t need to settle on just one will. Most state laws allow testators to have multiple wills simultaneously, such as a simple will and a living will. An estate planning attorney is the most qualified type of attorney to advise you on your state laws regarding wills. They can also help you choose the best will or wills for your circumstances.
You can contact Alfano Law Office by calling (603) 856-8411 or at this link.