Legal living will document and kit
A legal will can be prepared from a kit, a document, or from online service providers.
You can write a legal will by yourself. There is no requirement that an attorney be used to prepare a legal will. It is important, however, that the legal document will be prepared in an acceptable form and properly witnessed at the time of its execution.
Typically, a legal will kit includes the minimum requirements for a legal will as do many free legal will document forms. The legitimacy of a legal will, whether it is a free legal will or free legal will document, is dependent upon state law and should conform to the legal requirements of your state of residency.The age requirement in most states for preparing and executing a legal will is 18. A legal will must be typed on either a typewriter or computer word processor. (Some states recognize handwritten wills). You must expressly state in the will that it is your last will and testament. You must be of sound mind at the time of signing the will. A legal will must be dated, signed and witnessed by at least two people. (Some states require three witnesses).
The witnesses need only watch you sign the will; they do not have to read the contents of it. There is no requirement that a legal will be notarized but generally notaries are used to prevent a contest over the signing of the will. It is not necessary to file a will with a court or as a public document in order to make it a legal will. It is important, however, for your executor or trustee to know where you placed the legal will document.
If you don't have many assets and only want a simple will, then you may not need a lawyer to prepare a legal will. Under such a situation, using a legal will kit or free legal will form may suit your purposes. On the other hand, if you own a significant amount of assets and require advice on a particular subject, such as reducing the amount of the estate left to a spouse, it is advisable to retain an estate lawyer. In many states, since your spouse already owns 50% of what you own, it is difficult to reduce the amount left to that spouse.
Probate is essentially the judicial process of passing title to your heirs after your death pursuant to the terms of your will. Probate is a complex process. If you think you are being left out of the probate process, and do not know the contents of the will, you can ask the probate court to show you the will, since a legal will is a public document. Executors are required by law to locate you and describe your inheritance if you are named in the will.