If you die without leaving a Will, your assets may not be distributed according to your wishes. The probate court will appoint an administrator of your estate and distribute the property in compliance with state laws. In addition the costs associated with probate are significantly higher than having an executor named in a Will and must be paid from the estate before any assets are distributed. The probate process is also time consuming. For your peace of mind and that of family members, it’s always smart to have a Will.
Types of Wills: Attorney Verna Bash-Flowers
There are many types of Wills, including Simple, Testamentary Trust, Joint and Living. Simple Wills provide an outright distribution of assets for an uncomplicated estate.
With a Testamentary Trust Will, one or more trusts are set up for the distribution of part or all of one’s estate. Joint Wills are ones where two people leave their assets and property to the other. It also stipulates how the assets are distributed when the second party dies.
Living Wills, also known as Advance Health Care Directives, are documents that outline what type of medical treatment you should or should not receive in the event you become incapacitated. It is not used to outline the distribution of assets.
General Requirements of Wills
In order for Will to be legal, there are general requirements. The individual whose Will it is, also known as a Testator, must be of sound mind and understand the provisions of the Will. It must be signed by at least two witnesses who are not beneficiaries. The witnesses must sign the Will at the same time as the Testator. All signatures must be acknowledged by a Notary who signs at the same time as the Testator and witnesses. In addition, you must appoint an Executor who will supervise the distribution of assets and pay all of your debts and taxes.
Whether you have a small estate or a large estate, it’s wise to have a Will. Don’t leave it up to the state to determine how your assets are distributed. If you’re ready to create a will, turn to Attorney Verna Bash-Flowers for legal assistance. She takes the time to review your individual circumstances and provides assistance in choosing the best type of Will for you. She also drafts Simple Trusts, Durable Powers of Attorney and Living Wills.
Attorney Verna Bash-Flowers serves clients in Charlotte, Gaston, Cleveland and Lincoln Counties.