A Last Will and Testament is a document that states what will happen legally to one’s assets after they pass away.
This binding document can include material possessions, cash, properties as well as children. It can basically include almost anything.
Not having a Will can have serious consequences. Your assets may not be distributed as you intended or according to your wishes.
What happens if you do not have a Last Will and Testament?
Simply put, if you do not have a Will, the state will decide how to distribute your assets. Subsequently, your last wishes would basically be irrelevant.
Having a will ensures that your assets go to the beneficiaries that you choose. In other words, not to the heirs that the state chooses for you.
Who will enforce the Will?
The purpose of a Will is to name an executor to carry out the terms of the will. In addition to naming an executor and identifying your heirs, you also identify who receives your property. Keep in mind, if you choose to, you may leave property to people who are not heirs and not related to you.
- After you die and your death certificate is issued, your executor is obligated to file the will with the local probate court.
- The probate court will verify your death, verify your will, and appoint your executor to carry out the terms of the will.
- The executor is obligated to gather up your property, pay bills, and distribute the remaining property as stated in your will.
How to file a Will
After you sign your will, you should keep it in a place for safekeeping. Inform the person you named as executor where it is located. Ideally, you should keep it with all insurance policies and other important documents.
Your will lists all of your immediate family, such as your spouse and children. If you are not married and have no children, you can identify your parents and brothers and sisters.
Additionally, you can leave your property to charities, museums, schools, churches, etc.
Things to consider when making a Will
A Will is a document signed by you that states how and to whom your assets should be distributed after you pass away.
Since a Last Will and Testament is a legally binding document, you should avoid do-it-yourself and fill in the blank templates.
The cost of having an attorney prepare your will is quite reasonable. Keep in mind, any errors from do-it-yourself wills could have significant consequences. Some as serious as to cause your will to be nullified. A simple example is not signing the document officially which would make the will invalid.
A Will should be prepared by a lawyer.
- A professionally prepared document will be signed by you in the presence of two witnesses and a notary.
- Having a will avoids confusion and uncertainty of your wishes.
- Legal requirements are included for the protection of your heirs.
- Avoid do-it-yourself templates.
The Steinbach Law firm can prepare your new Will.
Our fee for preparing a Will is $600. In addition to your will, we include the following documents for no additional fee:
- Durable Power of Attorney
- Medical Power of Attorney
- Physician’s Directive
- HIPPA release
Also learn about Trusts:
Do you have questions about wills? Speak directly with attorney Scott Steinbach at 972-960-1850 for a free consultation.
R. Scott Steinbach is AV Preeminent rated by Martindale-Hubble. Peer rated for Highest Level of Professional Excellence.