No one wants to be part of a contested will distribution. Losing a loved one is difficult enough, and then facing a legal battle over their estate can be very traumatic. Let us share a few tips with you to guide you through the process of ensuring your loved one’s wishes are followed.
Make Sure it’s Valid
According to Rocket Lawyer, for a will to be legally binding, it must satisfy certain basic requirements. These requirements have been put in place to prevent fraud and forgery. A valid will must be recorded in writing, signed and dated by the person who made it and signed by a witness. Anything that has been added to the will after it has been signed is not valid and cannot be enforced. Any changes made to the will also need to be composed properly and signed in front of a witness. A valid will always requires a valid signature and date, although this signature does not necessarily have to be notarized. Finally, at least two competent adults must sign the will for it to be valid. In most states, a person who is in line to inherit would not be considered a valid witness.
Have an Asset Protection Plan
Estate planning normally determines how a person’s assets will be distributed when they die. According to Legally Mine, while typically assets are distributed according to a will, complications can often arise, especially if there are substantial assets on the line. A comprehensive estate plan will include many things, and an important area is asset protection. The best way to protect assets is to think for the long term with discretionary lifetime trusts or mandatory income trusts. To avoid complications, always obtain advice from a qualified lawyer who specializes in asset protection and wills.
The Choice of Executor Matters
Choosing the executor of a will is an important life decision. According to Extra Mile, you should discuss this with your loved one prior to the end and encourage them to have two executors. It is best if one person is a nonrelative such as a financial planner or lawyer. In addition, be sure that the provisions include a disclosure requirement that will force the executor to provide all details of the estate. Following these guidelines will allow for a safe process of property distribution.
Keeping each of these areas in mind will protect the integrity of your loved one’s wishes. Consulting with an attorney who specializes in estate planning is an excellent option in confirming all details before the will is finalized. With these things in mind, the process should proceed as intended.
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