Preparing a Will
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What are Some Tips When Preparing a Will?
When preparing a will, it’s always best to have a clear understanding of your overall goals and intentions. You should attempt to make your will documents as clear as possible in order to avoid any will disputes or contests in the future. Some tips when preparing a will include:
- Consider your entire estate: You should account for all your belongings and assets when preparing a will. That way, your property won’t be transferred unknowingly or against your desires
- Name property as clearly as possible: The property items should be clearly identifiable from your will descriptions. This will help avoid confusion over the items
- Name beneficiaries clearly: In a similar way, you should name beneficiaries as clearly as possible. Try to use their names in conjunction with their relationship to you and to others mentioned in the will.
- Include specific clauses: You may wish to include additional clauses, such as those dealing with will modification or termination if another will needs to be made
What are Some Terms to Know When Preparing a Will?
One of the most important aspects when preparing a will is to understand what some of the basic terms mean. Common will terms can include:
- Testator: This is the person making the will
- Beneficiary: These are the persons receiving distributions from the will
- Capacity: This refers to the ability to make a will. A person needs legal capacity (i.e., at least 18 years old) and mental competency to make a valid will
- Executor: This is a person appointed by the testator to handle will matters after their death
- Witness: These are persons who are present during the signing of the will. Most states require at least two non-interested witnesses
What if There is a Legal Dispute in Preparing a Will?
Legal disputes during the process of preparing a will can sometimes arise. For instance, a there may be some disagreement as to what a certain term in a will means, or which property a word refers to. These may require a rewording of the will. In some cases, the will may be rewritten entirely and replaced with a new will.
Will disputes usually occur after the testator has passed away. In such cases, the will executor may be required to make decisions on behalf of the deceased person’s estate.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help Preparing a Will?
Preparing a will can present various legal challenges, and should be done with great care and foresight. You may need to hire a lawyer for help preparing a will. Your attorney can advise you of the various legal options available to you under your state’s laws. Also, a qualified attorney can assist you if you need help filing a lawsuit over a will.
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Last Modified: 03-14-2013 01:39 PM PDT
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