What Is a Will?
A will is a legally binding document that establishes your wishes in the event of your death. These documents serve several purposes, including allowing you to decide how you want to distribute assets like home, money and other property.
Another benefit to establishing a will is that it prevents conflicts between family members in the event of your passing. Not only does a will give you the peace of mind that your family is taken care of – it also provides your family a great deal of relief in knowing that you planned ahead, rather than leaving them to sort it out on their own.
In order to maximize the probability that your final wishes are carried out, it is important to set forth a will in writing that is signed by you and any necessary witnesses. If a will is found to not meet these standards, there is a fair chance that your wishes will not be carried out.
Types of Wills
It is important to note that there are several types of wills, some of which may or may not meet the aforementioned standards:
- Testamentary/Self-Proving Will – the traditional form of will that most people are familiar with. This formally prepared document is signed in the presence of a witness or witnesses
- Holographic Will – this type of will is not written in the presence of witnesses and rarely holds up in court
- Living Will – this form of will has nothing to do with distributing assets. Instead, it sets forth your final wishes for life support or other medical care if you are incapacitated
- Oral Will – these are spoken testaments provided before a witness or witnesses. Like holographic wills, they are not widely recognized in the legal arena
Why Do I Need a Will?
By creating a will, you are granted sole discretion over how your assets are distributed. You can decide how your belongings, including family heirlooms or other valuable property, may be distributed.
It is also important to establish a will if you are a parent or guardian to minor children, as it allows you to provide for their care. This includes children from a previous marriage, even if they are considered adults.
Although wills typically address the majority of your assets, there are certain items that are not covered under a will. Items like proceeds from life insurance payouts, community property, retirement assets, and certain investments may not be covered under a will, even if it is legally recognized.
Working with Rick Dane Moore and Associates
If you are considering creating a will, it is important that you seek the guidance of an attorney experienced in the drafting and enforcement of such documents.
That’s where the legal specialists at Rick Dane Moore and Associates Law Firm, P.L.L.C. come in. Our legal team has more than 30 years of experience in drafting wills, in addition to litigating and contesting wills that other attorneys have drafted. Whether you are looking to establish a living will or your final will and testament, our attorneys can provide the wisdom and support you need to make the best possible decisions.
To schedule an appointment with a member of our legal team to explore your options for creating a will, we invite you to call Rick Dane Moore and Associates Law Firm, P.L.L.C. today at (405) 366-0373.