The estate planning device called a last will or last will and testament is the most commonly understood asset transfer vehicle. Most people are aware of the fact that you can state your final wishes regarding the postmortem distribution of your resources with a last will.
A person who creates a last will is called the testator. In the document, the testator will typically nominate an executor or personal representative. This is the person who will administer the estate after the passing of the testator.
There are specific requirements that must be met in order for a last will to be valid. The executor cannot follow the instructions and distribute resources immediately. The will must be admitted to probate, and the probate court will be charged with the responsibility of determining its validity.
In order for a will to be valid, the person who creates the document must be of sound mind. Plus, there can be no coercion or fraud involved in the signing.
Each state has slightly different laws regarding the legal requirements. We practice law in the state of Indiana. In our state, if you create a last will, the signing must be witnessed by two competent adults. These witnesses must also sign the last will.
Because of the fact that a last will must go through the probate process, you would do well to obtain legal advice before you decide to create your own last will. The court has certain expectations, and if you want things to go smoothly, you should be absolutely certain that you are doing everything correctly.
The precise wording of the document can make a difference, especially if there are people who may not be especially pleased with the way that you decided to distribute your resources.
Plus, a last will is not the only vehicle of asset transfer that can be utilized, and it is not always the best choice. You should understand all of your options and make fully informed decisions so that you ultimately provide for your loved ones in the optimal fashion.
Learn More About Last Wills
In this blog post we have answered a basic question about last wills. If you would like to learn more, download our special report.
This comprehensive report is being offered free of charge, and it will provide you with a great deal of useful information.
To get your copy of the report, click this link and follow the simple instructions: Free Report on Last Wills.
Schedule a Consultation
Our firm offers free consultations, and we would be glad to help you create a custom-crafted estate plan that ideally suits your needs. To set up an appointment, send us a message through this page: Indianapolis IN Estate Planning Attorneys.
Mr. Kraft assists clients primarily in the areas of estate planning and administration, Medicaid planning, federal and state taxation, real estate and corporate law, bringing the added perspective of an accounting background to his work.