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What Are Wills & Estates?

Wills and Estates
What Are Wills And Estates?

What Are Wills And Estates?

A will is a legal document that outlines how a person’s assets will be distributed after their death. It can also include instructions for the care of minor children and the appointment of a guardian. An estate is all of a person’s assets, including real property, personal property, and financial accounts. When a person dies, their estate is administered according to their will or, if they did not leave a will, according to the laws of the jurisdiction in which they lived (intestate succession laws). The process of administering an estate is called probate.

Who Is Responsible For Creating Will?

The person who makes a will is called the testator. The testator has the responsibility to make decisions about how their assets will be distributed after their death and to ensure that their will is valid according to the laws of their jurisdiction. This typically involves choosing an executor to manage the distribution of the assets, specifying the distribution of specific assets, and specifying any special instructions, such as the appointment of a guardian for minor children. It is important for the testator to regularly review and update their will to ensure that it reflects their current wishes and complies with any changes in the law.

Components Of A Will

A will typically include the following components:

  1. Identification of the testator: The will should include the full name, address, and signature of the person making the will (the testator).
  2. Appointment of an executor: The will should name a person or organisation to act as the executor of the estate, who will be responsible for managing the distribution of the assets according to the instructions in the will.
  3. ¬†Distribution of assets: The will should specify how the testator’s assets will be distributed after their death. This may include specific gifts of property, the creation of trusts for beneficiaries, or general bequests to heirs.
  4. Guardianship for minors: If the testator has minor children, they may include instructions in the will for the care of the children and the appointment of a guardian to raise them.
  5. Revocation of prior wills: The will should state that any prior wills made by the testator are revoked.
  6. Signature and witnesses: The will should be signed by the testator and witnessed by at least two individuals who are not beneficiaries under the will. The witnesses must also sign the will to indicate that they witnessed the testator’s signature.

What Are Wills And Estates?

Which Things You Cannot Write In A Will?

There are certain things that cannot be included in a will. These include:

  1. 1. Illegal or unethical requests: A will cannot include requests that are illegal or unethical, such as gifts to individuals for illegal activities or gifts that encourage criminal behavior.
  2.  Conditions that are impossible to fulfill: A will cannot include conditions that are impossible to fulfill, such as requests that depend on events that cannot happen.
  3. Gifts to witnesses: In some jurisdictions, witnesses to a will are not allowed to receive gifts under the will.
  4. Unlawful discrimination: A will cannot include provisions that discriminate on the basis of race, gender, religion, or other prohibited grounds.
  5. Instructions for end-of-life decisions: A will cannot be used to make end-of-life decisions, such as instructions for medical treatment or life support.

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