About 64% of American adults don’t have a will. Writing a will is not reserved for just the wealthy or elderly. A will is a fairly simple document that expresses your wishes after you have passed. An understanding of business law is not required either, although will lawyer can be of some help.
The general advice is that adults over the age of 40 should take the time to write one up. How does a person create a valid will? There are some limits concerning the validity of a will and what a will can dictate. Here is are a few simple guidelines for both.
What Business Law Requires For a Will.
Some people are surprised when they learn what is required to make a will valid. For example, a will can be handwritten, although it is not the preferred method. However, a will that was once stapled and then had the staple removed is considered invalid, due to the risk of a page being removed. What else is required for a will?
1. The Preparation of the Will.
As stated above, a will can be handwritten, or as it is sometimes called in business law, holographic. Although it’s allowed, a handwritten will is actually subject to additional requirements that a digital or typed will is not. Additional requirements include of course your signature, but also your address and the address of the witnesses. It is best to double check the requirements by your state.
2. Finding Witnesses to the Will.
Finding witnesses for your will is another area in which it is imperative that you double check your state’s requirements. Every state requires at least one witness, but some states do require three. Some states require their signatures to be notarized. Many states do not allow these witnesses to be listed within the will, meaning someone who is a witness can not potentially benefit from signing the will.
3. Wills Must Divvy Up Your Personal Property.
This requirement might seem obvious, yet it is an actual legal requirement. The will must distribute one’s personal property. Other requests can be included, but a will is not valid without the distribution aspect.
4. The Executor of the Estate.
A will can appoint the executor of the estate. In business law, this means the person you trust to pay debts, taxes, and to generally care out the directions of the will. It can be a good idea to designate one person for this job so that the process is streamlined.
5. Addressing the Potential of Residuary Estate.
After all debts are paid, and the distribution of assets is completed, there is often times residuals. How will this be dealt with? In accordance with the residuary clause within the will. The residuary clause further specifies who might receive any remaining assets. Without this clause, the remaining assets could be turned over to the state.
Writing a will does not need to be complicated. There are more factors to consider than those listed here, of course. You can decide to have a living will, or a last will and testament made up. So long as you are over the age of 18 and follow the correct guidelines, making a will can be relatively easy.