Things you may not know about wills

Drafting a will is super important as it is a way to take care of your family once you pass away. Creating a will takes some serious thought as you have to figure who gets what which is a lot of stress. There are a few things you might not be aware of when creating your will. Firstly will can either be written, type written on created on a home computer. These wills are valid so long as they meet the necessary requirements which differ from state to state. Most wills require there to be a signature, a date, your address and the address of the beneficiaries.

Your will must also adhere to the state requirement of witnesses. Some states require to have as little as two witnesses while others require you to have three witnesses. Some states will require your signature as well as your witnesses’ signatures. Most states will not allow you to choose any of your beneficiaries or lawyers to be any of your witnesses. Anyone who is included in your will cannot be one of your witnesses. This should go without saying but your will must be made voluntarily. Any will that is created under threat or under duress is invalid. You must also be sound of mind when you are creating your will. You must be aware that you are creating the will and you are distributing your asset upon your death. You must be fully aware of what your will contains.

Your will must distribute your property. This is common knowledge amongst many people but your will must contain all things a will would have and how these assets should be distributed. Some states require you to initial every page of your will, it’s always best to check in on your state laws or attorney to make sure your will is valid. Most people might not be aware of this but your will cannot have staples missing. If you have stapled your will together and there are staples missing then it will be assumed that some has altered your will. When creating you get to decide who gets what as well as your executor but you can also decide who will be responsible for your pets. To make sure you pets are taken care of when you pass you can list who you want to take care of them. You are also allowed to disinherit family members if you want.

If you have a life insurance policy then your beneficiaries will receive the life insurance no matter what was indicated in your will. If you would like to change this then you need to change your list of beneficiaries with your life insurer. This is the same for any retirement funds you may have, your beneficiaries are entitled to receive any retirement plan you had. Your heirs or beneficiaries have the right to contest your will if they are unhappy with what they have inherited. However if your will is valid and reviewed by an attorney then your wishes could still be maintained. In most cases if your will is valid then you should withstand the challenge. It is also advisable to have a living trust as well as a will. A living trust speeds up the process of asset distribution and your beneficiaries avoid the probate process. In terms of joint property, vehicles and bank accounts the survivor receives all of this no matter what is stated in your will.