Drafting Wills and Trusts

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What Is a Will?

A will is a written or oral communication by a person stating how they want their property disposed of at death. This person is known as the "testator."

Different Types of Wills

There are several different types of wills one can use to dispose of his or her estate:

Requirements for a Will

There are several requirements for a self-proving will:

1. Be of sound mind. This means that you must:

2. Expressly state that this document is your will.

3. Sign and date the will.

4. Signed ("attested") by at least two or three witnesses: The number of required witnesses depends on state law. In addition, most states require that the witnesses not inherit anything from the will.

4. Have one substantive provision that:

6. Appoint an executor

Requirements for a Holographic Will

These are the requirements for a holographic will:

What Is a Trust?

A trust is a legal property interest held by one person (trustee) for the benefit of another (beneficiary). The creator of the trust is known as the "settlor."

Different Types of Trusts

There are several different types of trusts one can create:

Requirements for a Trust

Creating a trust is a relatively simple process. All that you must do is:

Advantages of a Trust

Do I Need an Attorney to Draft a Will or Trust?

If you choose to create a will or trust, consulting with an attorney experienced in estate planning is always a wise thing to do. The potential tax implications and legal formalities of will and trust drafting make a lawyer's counsel indispensable. A lawyer can explain all your options and help you understand what types of wills or trusts are right for you and your family.

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Last Modified: 07-16-2014 02:24 PM PDT

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