It’s commonly said that where there’s a will, there’s a way, but the legal sort of wills take a bit more work than simply pushing through by the force of one’s willpower. However, they can be a very powerful tool for protecting your assets and worldly possessions. To ensure that your loved ones receive that which you intend for them, it’s important to understand exactly what a last will and testament entails.
Types of Wills: There are several types of legal wills, some of which are far more common than others. Overall, each of them sets out the legal guidelines of your wishes for your property distribution, as well as ensuring the care of any minor children you may have. Here are the four major types of wills:
- Testamentary Will: This is the most common type of will that people are familiar with and which they will most often encounter in their personal dealings. It is signed formally with witnesses present. This type of will is also sometimes known as a self-proving will. This is the most secure will to ensure that your wishes will be successfully carried out.
- Holographic Will: These are written without any witnesses present, and if challenged, are very difficult to hold up in a court of law.
- Oral Will: Not fully recognized legally, oral wills are spoken before witnesses and not formally recorded.
- Living Will: These are very different from the above wills, and do not deal with the distribution of one’s assets. They deal primarily with your wishes for your medical care, should you be unable to later communicate those decisions on your own. Common issues in living wills include end of life care and artificial resuscitation.
The Importance of Wills: While the most commonly understood purpose of a will is to make sure that your assets reach their intended recipient, there are several other majorly important reasons to have a will. Having your wishes in writing will keep tensions between survivors to a minimum, and ease some of the difficulties that your family will be facing at that time. If you intend for some or all of your assets to go to a charity which you particularly support, this should also be outlined in your will. Most importantly, if you have minor children, your will is set up to ensure their long-term care. Without a will, the state will be in charge of distributing your assets, and may not do so in the manner you would like.
To Prepare Your Will, you should enlist the service of an experienced attorney. You should compile all of the financial information you have regarding your assets and debts, including any sentimental items or pieces you would prefer to go to a particular individual. Your will can be changed by adding on a codicil amendment, or by replacing your old will entirely. For your legal needs, I can help you to ensure your will is legally sound and represents exactly what you wish for the future of your assets. Contact me, John Schettino today at (201) 498-9768 for a free consultation.