Write a Will - Living Will

By using will and estate planning tools you can write a will without seeking legal advice.

The reason to write a will is to provide instructions about how to transfer your assets at the time of death. During your lifetime it is also advisable to write a living will in order to give instructions to your health care providers about life support in the case you are incapacitated and cannot communicate your wishes about prolonging your life if death is inevitable. The question often arises: can I write my own will? In many cases, where the estate and proposed transfer are simple, it is feasible to write a last will and testament that will be satisfactory for the situation. There are even a number of free will write documents that can assist you in writing a last will and testament.

Last Will and Testament Overview - Pricing - Pet Protection Agreement

Whether you write a will or write a living will, it is necessary that the document satisfy the state laws that govern the will or living will. Under the laws of most states you must be 18 years of age in order to write a will or sign a will. If you write a last will and testament it is better that it be typewritten, even though some states allow a handwritten will (and in some states it can be oral).

The will should expressly state that it is your last will and testament. You also 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 die without a will, the distribution of your estate is governed by the intestacy laws of the state where you die. Therefore, it is better to have a will prepared for you that reflects your wishes or even write a will or have a free will write than die without a will.

In most cases a married person's assets are distributed under intestacy laws to his/her spouse and children. If the children are under 18 years of age, then their share(s) are held in trust until they reach the age of 18. If the probate court appoints a trustee for the underage children, the trustee usually has the discretion to make periodic distributions to the underage children for "maintenance, health and education" needs. Some property is exempt from intestacy laws such as life insurance proceeds or annuities with designated beneficiaries.

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