Free legal will form
Under certain circumstances, either a free legal will form or simple form can help reduce the costs of preparing an estate for probate and the eventual transfer of assets at death.
Many publishers and authors of legal forms and free legal forms offer a legal will form or, as appropriate, a free legal will form to assist estate planning for simple, minimal asset estates. Estate planning is the effort to determine, and commit to writing, how assets will be distributed upon death.
The simplicity or complexity of estate planning is dependent in large part upon whether you own a minimal amount of assets outright or whether you own more sizable assets in joint tenancy (with someone else, such as a spouse) or have placed assets in a trust. Property in joint tenancy or with a designated beneficiary (such as an IRA, pension or life insurance) does not pass through probate.A will dictates how your assets, after the payment of debts, will be distributed through probate. Many states allow assets to be distributed without probate if the estate does not exceed a statutory maximum. For example, in California , if the estate does not exceed $100,000 (excluding joint tenancy and designated beneficiary property), the estate does not have to go through probate. Under these circumstances, use of a legal will form or free legal form is appropriate.
If you die without a will, you are deemed to have died intestate and the intestacy laws of the state of your residency govern how your assets are distributed. In the face of no will, the use of a legal will form or a free legal will form is preferable. A viable legal will which can withstand a legal challenge or challenges can be created in minutes. It makes estate planning sense to use a legal will form or free legal will form to establish a minimum safety net for the assets in your estate.
Estate taxes, both federal and state, are a material element of estate planning. If you have minimal assets in your estate, there is a reasonable possibility that you will not have to pay any taxes. Advice from an estate lawyer in this complicated area is preferable for large estates. Certain techniques such as a marital life trust or annual gifting can materially reduce estate taxes. Tax advice from a tax lawyer or estate lawyer does not preclude the use of a fundamental legal will form or free legal will form.
It is best to make out a separate final disposition document (not in your will) that discloses your funeral arrangement wishes and what to do with your remains.