Will Substitute Lawyers

Locate a Local Finance Lawyer

Find Lawyers in Other Categories
Most Common Finance Law Issues:

What is a Will Substitute?  How is a it Different From an Actual Will?

A will substitute is a legal mechanism that allows a person to transfer their property to a beneficiary without undergoing the state probate process.  This can happen through a variety of different means.  Bypassing the probate process can often be beneficial for both the estate holder as well as the beneficiaries.  Probate distributions can sometimes yield results that are not actually in line with the estate holder’s actual intentions.

Will substitutes are different from an actual, valid legal will in many respects.  When transferring property to a beneficiary through a will, the asset distributions are usually made only after the death of the estate holder. 

In contrast, with a will substitute, the title to the asset may be distributed to the beneficiary while the estate holder is still alive.  While the asset itself may not be transferred, the legal title to it is transferred with a will substitute.  This is not the case with a normal will, in which the title only transfers upon the estate holder’s death. 

What are Some Types of Will Substitutes?

There are various types of will substitutes.  A person can have a valid will in place before their death, but they may choose to use a will substitute for specific beneficiaries or property items that need to be dealt with separately. 

Again, a will substitute can be thought of as a legal mechanism for avoiding probate.  These can include:

Thus, through the will substitute transfer, the property is effectively transferred during the estate holder’s lifetime, and therefore will not pass through the probate process.  There may be many other types of will substitutes, depending on state and local laws.

What are Some Advantages and Disadvantages of Will Substitutes?

Using a will substitute can have many advantages, such as:

Some disadvantages of will substitutes include:

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help With a Will Substitute?

Will substitutes can be helpful, and sometimes even necessary for maximizing the distribution of one’s estate.  As you can tell, estate matters can often be complicated.  Thus, you may wish to hire a qualified estates lawyer if you need help with the laws in your area.  An experienced attorney help you consider which types of will substitutes may be helpful for you.  Also, if you need representation in court, your lawyer can assist you with that as well.

Consult a Lawyer - Present Your Case Now!
Last Modified: 03-28-2016 01:49 PM PDT

Find the Right Lawyer Now

Link to this page

Law Library Disclaimer

LegalMatch Service Mark