Thursday, August 23, 2012

5 Myths About a Will

There is a great deal of misconception and confusion when it actually comes to understanding what a Will is and why it is utilized. Here is a short list of the 5 myths about a Will.

1. A Will is not required as my estate will be taken care of upon my death by the courts. This is completely incorrect. A Will is a legal document that is used to designate beneficiaries and what assets those beneficiaries are to receive. In the event this document does not exist then there really is not other way for the administrators or the estate to objectively determine the intent of the testator. As a result, the estate will be subject to probate court where the judge presiding there will be given the responsibility of determining the actual intent of testator from the facts and circumstances of the case. If for any reasons there is a dispute among multiple parties that they are entitled to a specific asset then they will have to do legal battle in order to recover what they believe they are entitled to. This will in turn cost a great deal of legal expense and cost.

2. A Will does not need to be signed. Although it is true that a Will need not be typed formally in order to be valid it does however need to be signed. This sort of legal document is not valid unless it is signed by the individual creating it.

3. A Will can be made by anyone even those that have mental conditions. A Will can not be accepted as valid if from the facts and circumstances of the case it seems that the person who created it was not of sound mind.

4. A Will can not be changed once its made so it's a good idea to wait till the very end of life before you make one. This is not true as you can change your Will anytime up until the time you pass one. Many different circumstances warrant the changing of this legal document and one of the most common is divorce.

5. A Will does not allow for the utilization of tax planning strategies. This is incorrect because in fact this legal document allows for the ability to utilize a great deal of tax planning strategies including a credit shelter trust which is one of the most effective ways of minimizing estate taxes.

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