Exploring the Different Types of Wills
Your Will is the cornerstone of your estate plan is a deeply personal document stating your last wishes. A Will can be more than just a simple document. There are many different types available. Having an attorney can help you decide which type of Will best fits your needs.
A Simple Will, also known as a Statutory Will is just that. It’s a straightforward document that works well if you have a small estate and few beneficiaries.
Pour Over Will
This type of Will is used in conjunction with an existing trust. You use a Pour Over Will to name your trust as the primary benefactor and all assets in the will be “poured” into the trust. This document will be brief, simply naming the trust as the benefactor, appointing an executor and naming a guardian for children if necessary.
In a Conditional Will, certain conditions are put upon the beneficiaries before they can claim your estate. An example of a common condition would be that the beneficiary must reach a certain age. This type of Will can be risky – if the beneficiaries do not meet the conditions, the estate will be divided as if no Will was in place at the time if your death. .
Married couples can choose to create a Joint Will, which is a single document signed by both spouses. Usually, this type of Will leaves all property and assets to the surviving spouse and then names the benefactor after the second person dies. This type of Will cannot be altered after the death of one of the spouses.
Also known as a Nuncupative Will, it is spoken, not written. As you can surmise, most states do not recognize this type of Will unless there are two or more witnesses. Oral Wills are often used by military personnel and are also referred to as Deathbed Wills, since they are usually made when a person is near death.
This type of Will is written and signed in private, without any witnesses. These types of Wills are normally not recognized and can be difficult validate.
At Wilson Law, P.A., we urge you to set up a written and witnessed Will as soon as possible – an Oral Will or a Holographic Will simply will not guarantee that your assets will be distributed to your specifications. Contact us today for a FREE consultation.