A last will and testament is as much for you as it is for your family. It is a legal document designed to express your final wishes, concisely and legally. In it, you dictate how your assets and estate get disbursed. Dying without a will only make the distribution process complicated for those still living, and without a will, you have no guarantee that your final wishes are known.
While the creation of a will is necessary to ensure the adherence of your desires during the distribution of assets, know that not every document type is as effective as others. Learning the difference between will types can limit the amount of disagreement or legal headaches after you are gone.
Reasons to Have a Last Will and Testament
There is a common misperception that wills are only needed by the wealthy, those with large estates and exorbitant funds. The truth is, anyone with assets that they want to be protected after their death or distributed to specific people can and should have a will. For example, even a person with limited assets and finances may want a will if they have children because the document allows them to specify who gets guardianship. Without a final testament, children may be placed with relatives you do not approve of or like.
The Type of Will Matters
While you can write a will on anything, if you want to ensure the legal veracity of the document, then create a testamentary will. The testamentary will is signed and witnessed. By having witnesses and providing the process is notarized, you can eliminate the risk of challenges after your passing. The best option is to hire trust and estate attorneys to help you create your final wishes and legalize them.
Your Final Wishes and the Will
The primary purpose of a will is to let your final wishes be known. When done right, the will is a legal document that ensures the distribution of your assets go to those you wish without the complication of court interference. However, a will does not always cover all assets, which is where probate court comes in to play. The court will determine or appoint a representative for the remaining estate and help to determine the appropriate distribution of those assets.
If you want to decide the fate of your estate or ensure that prized possessions go to those individuals you feel deserve it, then make sure you create a legally binding will. Contact an estate lawyer, like from Yee Law Group, to discuss the process more thoroughly.