Many people, especially younger adults, do not want to think about death or prepare for sudden death. However, having an up to date will is important for all adults, especially if you have a family. The unfortunate truth is that fatal accidents and terminal illnesses may strike at any time, so you want to be prepared and make sure your family is taken care of in accordance with your wishes. Making a will can actually be a relatively painless and easy process if you have the assistance of an attorney who is knowledgeable and experienced in the process of making a will. An estate attorney will ensure that the provisions of your will and testament will stand up in court after your death.
Why Do I Need a Will?
- All too often, a person writes what they believe is a valid will, files it away at home, and assumes it will be followed after their death. Therefore, all too often, a deceased person’s assets and property are not distributed in accordance with their true wishes, but in accordance with state intestacy laws (intestacy means dying without a will). In some circumstances, intestacy laws may cause your hard-earned property to go to the state, which most people want to avoid. In order to make certain your estate is divided as you wish, you need to first make sure you have a valid will. A Coweta County estate planning attorney can help you write a valid last will and testament.
What does a Will Do?
- Designates a legal guardian for your children—You may assume that, if you die, your spouse or the other parent will automatically take care of your children. However, designating another legal guardian is extremely important in the tragic circumstances of you and your spouse dying in an accident at the same time or if your spouse is somehow incapable of taking care of your children.
- Decides who gets your assets and property—This is the most commonly recognized function of a will. If you die without a will, your assets and property will be distributed in accordance with Georgia intestacy laws. If you have no readily identifiable close family members, the state will take your property.
- Names an executor—After you die, you want to make sure someone you trust is in charge of wrapping up your estate. You may designate this person in your will.
What are some requirements for making a will?
- The person making the will must be at least 14 years of age and must have the sanity and capacity to legally make a will. Simply because a person’s age is advanced is not enough to diminish their capacity to make a will.
- The will must be made freely and voluntarily. The person must not be acting under any form of duress or coercion from other parties to make the will or to include certain provisions in the will.
- There may not be any fraud or misrepresentation in making the will.
- The will must be in writing, signed by the testator (the person making the will) in some form, or signed by someone else at the instruction of the testator in the testator’s presence.
- The will must be signed by two witnesses who are competent and over age 14 in the presence of the testator.
Making a Will is Important to you and your Family so let the Law Offices of Shane Smith help you through the process. Call Us at (770) 487-8999 as soon as possible. An experienced attorney is waiting to help you.