4 Types Of Last Wills & What Should They Include
Creating a last will and testament may seem to be expensive and time-consuming to many. However, it is very important to make one as early as possible so that you can be sure that all your properties will be taken care of by your trusted people in the event that you passed away.
You never want to experience others gaining from those as you are the one who really worked hard for them. A “testator” is a person who is mentally capable of making a will.
The testator appoints an executor that will be responsible for distributing the will and managing accounts. The executor should be reliable and honest as this is a difficult task to do. They will be the testator’s representative when he’s no longer there to make decisions regarding their families and assets. So an executor must make sure to fulfill the testator’s wishes until the last details. They must be honest and reliable.
Beneficiaries are the people you chose to receive the properties that you allotted for them. After the testator completes all the necessary information for their will, it will be notarized and legally valid. There are four main types of last wills. Learn the benefits and consequences of these wills and see which of these fits your situation perfectly.
Note, though, that this article is just to give you an overview of the different types of last wills. You still need to work with a competent estate planning lawyer before drafting your last will.
This is the most common and most simple will there is. You can decide who will receive your possessions and you can also name a trusted guardian for your minor children. There are also a number of online will forms that you can easily access. But you might still want to consider asking for advice from an attorney about your will.
Testamentary Trust Will
This type of will places some of your properties into a trust. This will be beneficial among your young loved ones whom you chose as beneficiaries. It is because you can put their inheritance in a trust and you can also place conditions based on their age or other factors. Meanwhile, their trusted guardian will be the one to take care of them and their inheritance until they are ready and of the right age.
A joint will or a mirror will is created in favor of the other spouse getting everything when the other spouse dies. All the terms in a joint will including beneficiaries, executor, and guardians cannot be revoked even after the death of one of the testators. The surviving spouse cannot change anything about this will even if they wish to.
This type of will doesn’t concern anything when it comes to your properties because this is about your choice of medical treatment or termination of medical support when such a circumstance happens that you become incapacitated.
It also allows your trusted person to decide on your behalf if it’s necessary. In this will, you can also name someone you trust to make a decision instead of you. In some states, there is an advance healthcare directive together with a healthcare power of attorney. But this is a little confusing as state laws differ from one place to another.
What Are The 3 Conditions To Make Last Wills Valid?
The last will and testament is a legal document that appoints people who will receive your assets and a trusted guardian for your minor kids. That is why it is also necessary to make sure that your last will is valid for the sake of your loved ones and the people to whom you would want to give inheritances.
Here are the three conditions you should remember to make your last wills valid:
- The testator should be at least 18 years of age and of sound mind.
This is a basic condition that states that a person at least 18 years old and of a sound mind can create a will. This specific 18 was intended to make sure about the ability of the person to decide how to divide all their properties among their beloved family upon their death.
- Wills should be written and signed.
The testator or the deceased should sign the will in front of their two witnesses. The executor, guardian, and beneficiaries cannot stand as witnesses but the testator’s friend, roommate, or neighbor can possibly be. After the testator signs their will, the witnesses should also sign it as soon as possible to make it legally valid.
- Will should be notarized.
A will is considered self-proving if it is notarized at the time of its execution and witnessing. It can also be self-proving if the testator confirms the authenticity of the will and the witnesses sign the document before a notary.
When To Review Or Amend Last Wills?
Changing a will is easy. You can always update or change it every three to five years but you should also remember a few reminders before you amend your last will. But the rule of thumb will always be “when you feel the necessity to change it, do it immediately.”
Aside from your gut feel, there are major life events when you should update or change your will and these are:
Marital status is one of the common reasons why you should update or change your will. If you are recently married or divorced, you should definitely update and change your will. You should also be aware if you are in a community property or a common law state.
The birth of children is also one of the main reasons for you to amend your last will whether it’s a newborn child or new grandchildren. One thing to keep in mind is that stepchildren cannot receive inheritance automatically.
You have to make changes to your original will. If you have a blended family or you remarry, you have to make changes in your will to add your new stepchildren as your beneficiaries.
In the event that one of your beneficiaries died, a revision of the last will should be done. It can be a new name in place of the beneficiary who died or maybe a redistribution of inheritance to the remaining beneficiaries or maybe to other charitable institutions that you prefer.
In an event where an executor dies, you also need someone else to take their responsibility. Other important things to consider in changing your will is selling or buying a new property or if you purchase or sell a piece of art or jewelry.
Before A Trip
It is also best to review and update your last will if you are planning on a long trip. You will never know what might happen to you on that trip so you better make changes in your will to be sure before you hit that long flight.
Amending a will – commonly asked questions:
- How much does it cost to amend a will?
It depends if you want to hire a lawyer or do DIY. It also depends on what state you are living in because each state has different laws. The degree or extent of changes should also be considered when it comes to your will.
- How to change the executor of the will?
It’s possible to make handwritten changes in your will. But keep in mind that there are different laws in different states so be careful with your decision in making this revision.
- How do you make a will null and void?
Making a new will or preparing your codicil – it is a document similar but not necessarily the same as your will – can nullify your will.
How Weiner Law Can Help You Better Understand Last Wills?
Talking about passing away or simply death itself is really frightening to most. People are not really comfortable talking about your demise to anyone.
Even telling your family that you are going to leave soon and planning to leave them with the things that you worked hard for is also tough. It’s always a pain when you are talking about passing away.
But you should remember that it’s very important to prepare for the worst things that might happen in the future. There is really no telling what tomorrow may bring.
It’s not difficult to make a last will and testament as many might think, you just have to find a competent team of professionals to help you. Weiner Law in San Diego, California can help you relieve all your worries and fears.
With their skilled and experienced team, you can now be sure that all your properties will be taken care of because they will always put you in priority. They will make sure that all your final wishes are granted and that your loved ones will be in good hands.
So worry no more and let your life be more comfortable and fruitful with the help of Weiner Law.