Estate Planning and Wills

One clear thought to have in the front of your mind when you are preparing each provision of your will is this - have I created a will contest? That is, have I specified an act which is likely to lead to one or more of my relatives, or friends, or others to contest my will? Naturally, it is bad enough to be in probate court, probating your will.

Under most state laws, there are four elements which must be present to establish a trust:

The relationship created by the formation of the trust between all of the parties is a special relationship recognized by law as a fiduciary relationship. A fiduciary relationship requires that some of the parties may have duties to the others in the relationship that are greater than one would normally have in a transaction with a neighbor or friend or associate.

Most people know that wills are legal documents that specify directions for the disposition of property after the death of the person who makes the will. Wills may also specify certain other instructions or wishes which can be followed by those people who are appointed to administer the estate of the person who dies.

Each state has a certain number of requirements that operate to specify how a valid will may be prepared and what steps should be followed to prepare a will which can be probated at a later date. The purpose of these seemingly strict rules is to ensure that the person creating the will follows certain formal requirements and appreciates the seriousness of the legal act they are performing.

There are three ways to distribute estates after you or a loved one passes away.

What happens if a person wishes to leave nothing to one of their heirs, e.g., one of their three sons? Many states' laws assume, in the absence of naming the son in the will, that the son was forgotten.

Revocable Living Trust: One of the most simple and popular trusts is the revocable living trust. The idea behind this type of trust is that you may wish to transfer your property to yourself, or to another highly qualified and trusted person, while you retain all of the rights of ownership during your lifetime.

If you are of sound mind, or legally competent, and over 18, you can make a binding will. However, you must follow certain form requirements to have your will declared valid. An attorney in your state will have the most knowledge of the specific laws and statutes in your state. Contact member services to be paired with an attorney.

There are very strict requirements on creating wills in most states. As you might expect, there are also very strict rules governing changes made to wills. It is important to understand that if you make a change of any kind to a will, even one tiny pen mark, you must comply with the requirements of your state's laws.


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