Different Types of Wills?
All Wills should be typed instead of handwritten and written by a person who is over 18 and of ‘sound mind’. An executor must be listed to manage the Will and the document must be signed, dated and witnessed by a certain number of people for it to be legal.
There are four basic kinds of Wills:
- Simple will
Most often used when simple assets need to be distributed from the estate to the beneficiaries.
- Testamentary Trust Wills
Includes provisions that place a portion of your estate into a trust and a trustee controls those assets and distributes them to your beneficiaries.
- Joint Wills
Usually used by spouses who intend to leave their assets to each other in case of death. The surviving spouse inherits everything and when they die, they leave the remaining estate to a person of the couple’s choosing. This will cannot be revoked once the first testator dies.
- Living wills
A living will is not the same as a last will and testament. It is a legal document that comes into effect if you become incapacitated and can no longer express your decisions or wishes. This document dictates what kind of medical treatment you wish to receive if you are terminally ill and cannot speak for yourself. In a living will, you can state whether you would like medical procedures to be continued, withheld or terminated. This will allows doctors to know whether they should use synthetic means of keeping your body alive.
The requirements for creating a living differ by state so you might want to hire a lawyer to prepare the document for you.
If you want to DIY a living will, you can find an online service or template to help you.
Make sure you fulfill all the requirements in order to ensure it is legally binding and if you are unsure, perhaps consider hiring a lawyer.