Many people are surprised to hear that it takes longer than you may think, because a will must pass through the process of probate. No inheritances can be distributed while this process is underway.
The probate court would determine the validity of the will and provide supervision while the estate is being administered. Time frames vary depending on the complexity of each respective case, but a relatively straightforward estate will be probated in perhaps nine months to a year.
In our state, you must sign the will in front of two witnesses, and they should not be people that are not named as beneficiaries. The witnesses must also sign the will one after another at the same time, and they must see you actually signing the will or acknowledging your signature on the will.
One of the reasons why there is a probate period is because it gives interested parties a chance to challenge a will. In order for a will to be valid, the testator must be of sound mind. The contention of incapacity would be one ground, and others include fraud, intimidation, coercion, forgery, and improper execution.
The answer to this question is a resounding no. In fact, once you understand all the facts, you would probably agree that a revocable living trust is a far better choice.
When you establish a living trust, you can act as the trustee and the beneficiary while you are alive, so you would lose no control. You could account for possible incapacity by naming a disability trustee, and this is an important benefit.
In the trust declaration, you would name a trustee to administer the trust after you are gone. It could be the same individual or entity that would serve as the disability trustee, but this is not legally required.
After your passing, the trustee would be able to distribute assets to the beneficiaries outside of probate, so the time consumption and the other negatives would be avoided. You would also have the ability to include a spendthrift clause that would protect a beneficiary that is not good at handling money.
Plus, the estate administration process would be streamlined, because all or most of the assets that comprise the estate would be the property of the trust. This would provide an efficient, turnkey situation for the trustee after you are gone.
There is another type of will called a pour over will that would be recommended. You may well have property in your personal possession when you die that was never conveyed into the trust. This type of will would allow the trust to absorb these assets when the time comes.
Absolutely, everyone should have a living will. If you are not aware of the purpose of this type of will, it is used to state your preferences regarding the utilization of life-sustaining measures in the event of your incapacity.
Another will that flies well under the radar is the ethical will. These documents were first used during biblical times, and they are part of the Judaic tradition. With an ethical will, you record your moral and spiritual values so that your loved ones can draw from them after your passing.
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