Alexandria Wills Lawyer
There are many important reasons why you should have a last will and testament. Without a valid will, the disposition of your estate will be determined based on the applicable state law. The application of these default provisions may result in undesired outcomes. The absence of a will may also lead to uncertainty and family disagreements as to what your last wishes would have been.
Distinguished trusts and estates attorneys know that thinking about signing your will can be overwhelming. Alexandria wills lawyers are here to guide you through the process and ensure that your wishes are accurately expressed.
What are the Will Requirements in Alexandria?
A person must be at least 18 years old to execute a will in Alexandria. Persons executing a will should have the mental capacity to understand what they are signing and have the intent to create a will. To be enforceable, the person signing the will or testator should sign the will in the presence of two witnesses.
The witnesses should not be related to the testator or named as beneficiaries of the will. Alternatively, a person directed by the testator in their presence may sign the will. State law in Alexandria does permit holographic wills. Holographic wills are a type of will that is handwritten by the testator. Although it is always advantageous to observe all of the will formalities, sometimes this is not possible in emergency situations where death is imminent.
Understanding the Basic Functions of a Will
The basic function of a will is to express an individual’s wishes regarding the distribution of their assets upon their death. A will typically includes provisions regarding the distribution of all types of assets including tangible personal property, real estate and cash. As an Alexandria wills lawyer knows, having a will in place generally reduces the overall costs of administering an estate.
What is the Role of a Will When Handling One’s Estate?
In modern estate plans, trusts, not wills, are used as the primary vehicle for distributing an estate. However, even if an individual has a trust in place, they should still have a will. Sometimes assets are inadvertently left out of a trust. If there is not will in place to direct where these assets should be distributed, those assets will be distributed according to state law in Alexandria. Having a simple “pour-over” will that directs all assets to be distributed to the trust avoids this problem.
Appointing a Guardians and Executors
Many individuals and families begin thinking about putting their will in place after they start a family. In addition to establishing a dispositive scheme for the disposition of assets, the will is also where guardians for minor children are appointed. Failing to put a will in place appointing a guardian for children under the age of 18 will result in the court having the primary authority to make this appointment.
Executors play a central role in the administration of an estate. They are responsible for making sure that the terms of the will are carried out appropriately and that all required procedures are followed with respect to the estate administration and payment of all necessary expenses. The appointment of an executor is contained in the will. Without a will nominating an executor for appointment, this decision will be in the court’s discretion.
What to do Following the Revocation of a Will
A will is essentially revocable at any time before death. A will is can be revoked by destroying the original document or signing a subsequent will stating that it revokes all prior wills. Whether you are interested in creating a new will, changing an existing will or have questions about a will naming you as a beneficiary, our lawyers are available to speak with you. If you would like to know more about wills or what an Alexandria wills lawyer can do for you, please call our office at your convenience.