A will is a legal document that details your assets and what will happen to them after your death. Your will should include a comprehensive list of all your property, money, investments, prized possessions, and digital assets you wish to leave behind for your heirs. Your will should also include named legal guardians for children, caregivers for other dependents, and a list of beneficiaries. A will attorney can help you draft a detailed document.
Without a will, the state distributes the assets according to state and local laws. In this case, you lose control over your assets, which will not be distributed according to your wishes. Therefore, it is better to protect your belongings y creating a legally binding document.
However, in both cases, you cannot dodge the probate process. This is where the role of a probate attorney comes into play. Without a probate attorney, you may find the process frustrating and time-consuming.
Lawyers help estate executors and will owners with many things. Here are some reasons why you may need to hire one.
Lawyers help file a Will
When a person dies, leaving behind a will, it must go through probate. Probate is the legal process to determine the authenticity of a will. It starts with the estate executor filing the will in the local county court.
However, before that, you must inventory the assets, including any outstanding debt, and attach the necessary documents. A competent probate attorney can help you with the process more efficiently. You can easily avail of online probate services to file the will in court. The lawyer will also help prove to the court that you are the right person to settle the estate. They also help smooth out the process as much as possible.
If you face difficulty in creating an estate plan, your lawyer can help do it for you. With years of experience, lawyers know what the will approval process takes and how to execute it effectively.
A lawyer can help draft a Will
Hiring a lawyer for your will can be the first step in the right direction if you need to know where to begin or when to write your will. Note that you do not need to be in the last stage of your life to write a will. You may not even own many assets. But it is best to do this as soon as possible. A lawyer can assess your financial situation and recommend the best way forward.
It is also crucial to draft your will under complex family dynamics. Lawyers can provide technical insight into how to protect your assets in case of divorce, unexpected health conditions, or other family-related problems.
A lawyer also acts as a neutral third party who ensures you’re being fair. If someone contests your will, a lawyer will get a deposition to protect your wishes.
You may also require signed and sealed affidavits from witnesses. It will further prove the legitimacy of your will in court. The witnesses must also be present in court to back their claims. Your lawyer can help ensure that too.
An attorney helps update the Will
You may need to update your will several times throughout your life. If you drafted it once when you were young, circumstances in your life might cause you to update your will later. Whether you get married, divorced, have a child, start a business, or open a joint bank account with your spouse, you must update the initial draft of your will.
Under such circumstances, a lawyer will help ensure a strong will in your favor. The lawyer will also help ease problems for your heirs with fewer chances of someone contesting it. Ensure you include all your kids when distributing assets if you think a dispute can arise among them regarding unfair distribution.
It is also helpful to add a non-contestability clause in your will. According to the clause, your will’s assets will redistribute if a beneficiary contests the will in court. There are also ways to protect your assets from creditors.
Additionally, if you want to cut someone off from your inheritance, you must indicate that in your will. That person could have a right to your assets in your last will. However, due to changing circumstances, you can get help from your Will attorney to pursue the best course.
An attorney helps avoid common mistakes
Drafting a will is more complex than it may appear on the surface. You may or may not be aware of your state’s laws and statute limitations. Drafting a will online also comes with similar flaws. A competent lawyer versed in the state and probate laws will help you draft an ironclad document.
The boilerplate language used to write the will is necessary and valuable. It helps clear any ambiguities and states the required conditions. It can also vary with different circumstances.
You must mention your creditors and pay off liabilities by liquidating assets. Otherwise, your creditors may contest your will and lay claim to your assets, leading to conflicts with your heirs. Such conflicts may last longer and prolong the probate process, leading to more costs.
Other common mistakes may include naming the wrong estate executor, not mentioning your children’s legal guardianship, or failing to appoint someone to tackle disputed property or lawsuits. Hiring a lawyer will ensure that you avoid making such mistakes.
Lawyers help devise the best action course to minimize the chances of your will coming under the law’s scrutiny. They help ease the probate process, making it easier for your assets to be passed on to their rightful heirs. So hire a lawyer to get the job done right and save yourself and your loved ones from unnecessary legal trouble and conflict.