Most people have heard the phrase, “last will and testament”, but do you really know what it means? Are these two different things? Does everyone have to write one?
If you have questions like these about getting a will and testament, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to find the answers to your questions.
What Are a Will and Testament?
The will and testament is a legal document describing a person’s desires after they die. It gives instruction about how to distribute their possessions and assets. For example, items may go to relatives, groups, or charities.
A will and testament may give instructions for the custody or care of dependents. They also often describe how to manage accounts, interests, and business matters.
Wills are unique and vary in the degree of complexity. When a will’s only purpose is to describe how assets are to be distributed, it’s called a “simple will”.
Each state has its own rules. Some don’t allow unusual wills such as holographic wills.
So, is there a difference between the will and the testament? The will focuses on the person’s wishes after death. The testament pertains to what happens to personal property.
Do I Need a Will?
For most people, the most direct answer is, “Yes”. If you own a business or are a partner, the will makes legal transitions easier for everyone.
If you have minor children or other dependents, you MUST have one. The will defines the transfer of custody to another caregiver. Without a will, this matter goes to the court and takes time, and can cause more grief.
You may choose to name an executor to take control of all legal and family issues after your death. You need to discuss your wishes with this individual to help them manage your affairs.
When Should I Get a Will?
The most prudent answer is, “as soon as possible”. Most people don’t know when they will die. Sudden deaths create a lot of grief, confusion, and anxiety for loved ones.
If you die before creating a will, all accounts may be immediately frozen. It can take time and money to complete the court process and disperse the property and assets.
How Can You Get a Will?
It’s important to follow your state’s laws to make sure you have a valid will. Depending on your state, a valid will may be typed, handwritten, or created on a computer. They often require information such as your signature, address, date, or more.
Consult with a lawyer to help you create a will. This will ensure that it’s valid, so you won’t leave your loved ones with extra burdens.
Are You Looking for a Lawyer?
If you don’t have a will and testament, it’s time to get that completed. Monastra & Grater, LLC has expertise in preparing wills and estate planning.
Our team of experienced lawyers can help with real estate matters and trust and estate administration. We also work with social security disability cases as well. Our goal is to exceed your expectations.
Schedule a consultation today to learn more about our services.