Writing a will is not a pleasant task, because you are taking into account how you may die, and that you may die. Dying is an inevitability, and when you are able to accept that you are able to prepare your family for the next step—life after your demise.
If you die without a will, you are then considered an intestate, which means your estate is going to be settled purely based on laws of the state which outlines who inherits what. Probate is the legal process of transferring that property and assets to the heirs. With no executor named, a judge will appoint an administrator to serve in that capacity and this will also happen if the will is deemed invalid. All wills have to meet certain standards—your will being witnessed as it is signed to make it legal is one such standard. Check your state for specifics, or ask your wills lawyer in East Greenwich, RI.
The administrator is most likely going to be a stranger, and they are going to be bound to the letter of the law and the probate process. This means they may make decisions you would not agree with, because it is their job to follow the laws involved to a T.
What Does A Will Do?
Wills allow you to direct your belongings, your assets. Some such assets that you may be concerned about going to the right person or peoples are:
· Personal belongings
· High-value assets
· Real estate property
After you decide who gets deigned as beneficiary of a will, whether they are family, friend, charity or a business, you always want to include a secondary beneficiary in case something happens to the primary beneficiary. This ensures your will covers all of the bases and the court never has to decide how to distribute your funds.
You will need to appoint your executor, because this person will carry out the terms of your will. They’ll distribute assets, they’ll manage all of your affairs, they’ll settle your unpaid debts, file your final tax return, and much more. The executor can be your family members or a lawyer. That’s up to you and what you think is best for your will and estate.
This list is an informative list, meant to enlighten you to a few types of wills:
· Holographic wills, which are written and signed by the testator but were not witnessed. Such wills are common when people are in life-threatening accidents.
· Oral wills, which is the least recognized as a will, is when the testator speaks their wishes in front of witnesses.
· Pour-over wills are used in conjunction with creating a trust, often to keep your assets safe.
· Mutual wills are usually made between a married or committed couple. This binds the remaining party to the terms of the will. This may be a way to ensure property passes to a decedent’s children rather than a new spouse. This type of will requires a wills lawyer in East Greenwich, RI because the state may have different terms, so you want the mutual will to be binding in the state you are in, to lessen stress and confusion.
Wills are thought of as just being for those with money, but any good wills lawyer in East Greenwich, RI will tell you that you’re wrong for thinking like that. Especially ones at law firms such as McCarthy Law, LLC where they hope to provide guidance and peace of mind.
If you talk to a wills lawyer in East Greenwich, RI, you will quickly learn that you do not need a complicated estate or money to leave a will for your family. By leaving a will you are clear about who gets what asset, even if it’s just a fancy toaster oven. You can keep your assets out of the hands of estranged relatives or people that you do not want things to go too. You identify who should care for any children who are minors or may require special life-long care, and without a will the courts will decide—and that may not be what you would have wanted. Furthermore, your heirs will have less fuss around getting access to your assets, and you can plan to save your estate money on taxes by giving gifts to charitable donations.
Who Should Act as Witness?
Any person may act like the witness to your will; though it may be useful to pick someone who is not in the will to be your witness to avoid any conflict of interest. The technical term is called “picking a disinterested witness”. Some states may require more than one witness, so choose your witness carefully and if you have questions, reach out to a wills lawyer in East Greenwich, RI to receive answers.