Creating an estate plan is one of the most important things a person can do while they are alive. It allows you to plan ahead for what happens after your life. Having an estate plan will help to protect your belongings after you pass away. One of the most significant parts of an estate is a written will. Your will is a legal document that recognizes how you wish to have your belongings handled when you are gone. An experienced legal representative can guide you in creating a plan that is best for you.
Why Create a Will?
A long-lived life comes with possessions and certain assets that should still be taken care of after a person passes away. With a written will, you are able to pass along these belongings as you choose, ensuring that they fall into the right hands. This prevents any concern about what would happen to your estate if it is left unmanaged.
If a will is not created, the individual dies intestate. In an event of this, their estate may be controlled by the State of New York. This means a judge can make decisions regarding where or to whom your belongings go. The estate may then be distributed by a succession schedule depending on what family members survive the deceased. Dying intestate may also result in rifts between family members as they may fight to control recovered assets.
Executing a Will
In order to produce a valid will, there are certain guidelines to be followed. In the state of New York, the will must not only be written but signed. While signing a will, there must be a minimum of two witnesses present. These witnesses must address why they are present in addition to if the person signing the will is of full capacity.
Given that wills can be created at any moment in life, they are subject to change just as life does. Certain family dynamics may alter, requiring the will to meet those differences. Some reasons to modify a will may be:
- Children added to the family
- Divorcing a spouse
- The death of a spouse
- A change in finances
Contesting a Will
There are certain cases in which a will can be contested. This means that a beneficiary may challenge the will if it is believed to be suspicious. Certain reasons an individual may wish to contest a will can be:
- Influence by another party
- The deceased was not of full capacity at the time the will was written
- The will was executed improperly
- If fraudulence or forgery took place
If you or a family member is looking to create a will for your estate and wish to speak with an experienced attorney, contact The Lauterbach Law Firm today.
The Lauterbach Law Firm is proud to serve clients throughout Rockland County who are faced with legal matters related to estate planning, real estate, foreclosure defense, landlord-tenant law, business law, and criminal defense. If you require the services of an experienced team of attorneys, contact The Lauterbach Law Firm today to schedule a consultation.