Without a will, state law determines who inherits your assets
It’s generally considered poor practice for a lawyer to be named as the beneficiary of a will they help to create. Attorneys who benefit from a will with which they assisted may have exerted undue influence over their clients: an ethical conflict of interest. If your lawyer suggests being named as beneficiary, be wary of his or her motivations, and consider obtaining a second opinion before making a decision.
What Makes a Will Legally Valid?
Investigators discovered that Dummar had checked out a library copy of a book called The Hoax, which recounted the story of Clifford Irving's forgery of an "autobiography" of Hughes. The book contained examples of Hughes's handwriting. Document examiners demonstrated that Hughes's handwriting had changed before the time the Mormon Will supposedly was written. In addition, the examiners concluded that the will was a crude forgery. Nevertheless, it took a seven-month trial and millions of dollars from the Hughes estate to prove that the will was a fake. In the end, the court ruled that the will was a forgery.
Where joint bank accounts are opened with a spouse/civil partner or child,it is presumed that one party will be fully entitled to the money in theaccount when the other party dies. Disputes can arise, however, if someone,perhaps an elderly person or a person with a physical disability, opens a jointbank account with a relative or friend so that the relative or friend canmanage his or her finances for him or her. This is because the owner'sintention may or may not have been to benefit the relative or friend. Adecision in such a case would depend on the intention of the people involved,the amount they each lodged into the account and the terms of their contractwith the bank. It is advisable for people with joint accounts to make clear intheir contract with their bank or in their will what their intentions are forthe money in such accounts.
A living will, despite its name, isn't at all like the wills that people use to leave property at their death. A living will, also called a directive to physicians or advance directive, is a document that lets people state their wishes for end-of-life medical care, in case they become unable to communicate their decisions. It has no power after death.The requirements for a living will vary by state so many people hire a lawyer to prepare their living will. Most people can create this simple document - along with the other typical estate planning documents - without the high legal fees by using a quality software application that accounts for their state's laws. If you need to write or update a will or trust, you can take care of your living will at the same time.If you’re helping someone with their estate planning (or doing your own), don’t overlook a living will. It can give invaluable guidance to family members and healthcare professionals if a person can’t express his or her wishes. Without a document expressing those wishes, family members and doctors are left to guess what a seriously ill person would prefer in terms of treatment. They may end up in painful disputes, which occasionally make it all the way to a courtroom.Ready to create your last will and testament? We've got a few options to help. Choose from professional digital forms, a free boilerplate form, or find a local estate planning attorney to draft your will.You can create a legally binding health care directive (living will) without paying an attorney by using reputable estate planning software, like Nolo’s award winning . In addition to a living will, you can create a complete set of estate planning documents including your will, power of attorney, living trust, and more.To be valid, a living will must meet state requirements regarding notarization or witnesses. A living will can be revoked at any time. The document can take effect as soon as it’s signed, or only when it’s determined that the person can no longer communicate his or her wishes about treatment. Even if it takes effect immediately, doctors will rely on personal communication, not a document, as long as possible. These estate planning products, provided by Nolo, can help you quickly write a will that is legally valid in your state, customizable to suit your needs, professionally written, and regularly updated by expert attorneys. Use these to create a legal, enforceable will.
A will can be made with or without the legal expertise of a solicitor but drawing up a home-made will without legal advice is considered a risky business and many turn out to be invalid in the eyes of the law.But many of those who do think ahead to provide for their loved ones, will be suprised to discover their wishes are not written in tablets of stone. As in the case of Diana, Princess of Wales, a will can be changed after the owner's death.MAKE SURE YOU GET ANY WILL PROPERLY WITNESSED BY 3 ADULTS WHO ARE NOT BENEFICIARIES AND ARE NOT CLOSELY RELATED TO YOU. THEY SHOULD ACTUALLY SEE YOU SIGN THE WILL AND THEN SIGN IMMEDIATELY THEREAFTER!