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What is a Will?

Posted by Noah Sarkauskas | May 24, 2022 | 0 Comments

When you hear the term "will", what comes to mind? For many people, wills evoke an image of the monopoly guy with a top hat and monocle. But a will is more than just a tool for the wealthy. A will is a vital legal document that everyone should have, regardless of age or wealth. So what is a will, and why do you need one? Read on to find out.

What Is a Will and What Does It Do?

A will is a legal document that allows you to specify how your assets will be distributed after your death. You can use a will to provide for your family, friends, and favorite charities. You can also use it to appoint a guardian for minor children and pets.

Once the will takes effect, the executor (the person named in the will to carry out its provisions) will be responsible for distributing the assets according to the testator's wishes. If there is no executor, or if the executor is unable or unwilling to serve, the court may appoint an administrator to carry out the terms of the will.

Who Needs a Will and Why Should They Get One?

Many people believe that a will is only necessary for older adults or for those with significant assets. However, this is not the case. Everyone can benefit from having a will, regardless of their age or financial situation. A will allows you to control what happens to your belongings after you die.

Without a will, the state will determine how your assets are distributed, which may not be in accordance with your wishes. In addition, a will can help to minimize conflict among family members and friends.

By clearly stating your wishes, you can avoid heated arguments and disputed claims. Ultimately, a will is an important tool for ensuring that your final wishes are carried out. While it may be difficult to think about death, a will is an important way to protect yourself and your loved ones.

How Can You Make a Will and What Are the Requirements?

Making a will is an important step in ensuring that your wishes are carried out after your death. The requirements for making a will vary from state to state, but there are some general guidelines that all states follow. You should consult an estate planning attorney as they will help you to draft your will and make sure that it meets all the legal requirements. 

First, you must be at least 18 years old.

Second, you must be of sound mind, which means that you must be able to understand the nature of your property and the people who will inherit it.

Finally, the will must be properly executed, which includes being signed by you and witnessed by two other people.

Once you have followed these steps, your will is legally binding and can be used to distribute your property as you see fit.

What Happens if You Don't Have a Will or if It's Not Valid When You Die?

If you die without a will, or if your will is not valid when you die, your property will be distributed according to the laws of your state.

This could mean that your property goes to your spouse, your children, your parents, or other relatives. If you have no living relatives, your property may go to the state. dying without a valid will can also create problems for your loved ones. They may have to go through probate court in order to settle your estate, and this can be a lengthy and expensive process.

Additionally, if you have minor children, the court will appoint a guardian for them. This person may not be someone you would have chosen yourself, so it's important to make sure that your wishes are clearly stated in a valid will.

How Much Does a Will Cost to Create?

The cost of creating a will varies depending on the complexity of your estate and the state in which you live. However, there are a few general guidelines that can help you estimate the cost. Generally speaking, it will cost between $500 and $1,500 to hire an attorney to draft a will.

If you have a simple estate and live in a state with reasonably straightforward laws, you may be able to find an attorney who will charge as little as $500. You need to keep in mind that estate plans are similar to most things in life in that you get what you pay for. Attempting to choose an inexpensive attorney can cost your beneficiaries much more than the amount you initially save.

If you have a complex estate or live in a state with complicated probate laws, you may need to pay closer to $1,500. Additionally, some attorneys may charge an hourly rate rather than a flat fee, so it's important to ask about pricing before you hire an attorney. Ultimately, the cost of creating a will depends on a number of factors, but you can expect to pay between $500 and $1,500 for most wills.

What Are Some Things to Consider When Making Your Will?

When you're ready to make your will, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, think about who you want to receive your assets. This may include family members, close friends, or charities. Next, consider what assets you want to include in your will. This may include your house, bank accounts, stocks and investments, and personal belongings. You will also need to appoint a executor, who will be responsible for carrying out your wishes.

Additionally, you will need to make some decisions for any ancillary documents, such as who will be your Healthcare Power of Attorney or your Financial Power of Attorney. These documents allows you to appoint someone to make medical or financial decisions on your behalf in the event that you are unable to do so yourself. You should choose someone who you trust implicitly and who will be able to make difficult decisions in a calm and level-headed manner. It is also important to have a conversation with these people ahead of time so that they are aware of your wishes and can make choices that are in line with your values. Creating a healthcare power of attorney or financial power of attorney is an important part of ensuring that your wishes are respected in the event of a medical emergency.

Contact an Estate Planning Attorney

Do you have an estate plan?

A will is one of the most important documents you can have. It ensures that your wishes are carried out after you die. Without a will, the state decides how your property is distributed – and that might not be what you would want.

Creating a will doesn't have to be difficult or expensive. Heritage Law Office can help you create a will that meets your specific needs and complies with all state and federal laws. We offer a variety of packages to choose from, so you can get the coverage you need at a price you can afford.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation! Give us a call at 414-253-8500.

About the Author

Noah Sarkauskas

Bringing technology, automation, machine learning, and a systematic approach to the legal world, Noah Sarkauskas is making the legal field significantly more efficient. Noah leverages technology to complete your legal work in a significantly quicker and more time-efficient matter while simultaneo...

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