When you start looking at various types of Wills, it can feel overwhelming, and one of the easiest ways to ensure you choose the right Will for you is to get the help of an estate planning expert.
Wills and estate planning can be complex, and determining which is right for you is essential because choosing the wrong one can significantly impact your family and loved ones.
We will review the various types of Wills to help you understand and choose the right kind of Will to ensure your loved ones and your estate have the care and are distributed how you desire.
What Is A Will?
Writing a Will is the ideal way to protect your loved ones and your estate. It is a legal document that clearly outlines how you want your estate distributed after death.
7 Types Of Wills For You To Choose From
There are various types of Wills to choose from when planning your estate, and your estate planning attorney can help you decide which is right for you.
#1. A Living Will
A Living Will, also known as an Advanced Healthcare Directive, is a legal document rather than an actual Will. The difference is that a last will and testament outline instructions on how to proceed with the distribution of the estate after someone dies, and a Living Will clearly outlines your preferences if you are critically injured and/or unconscious. In a Living Will, you can specify which medications or medical treatments you don’t want and do want and if you choose to be an organ donor. A Living Will helps ensure that you maintain control over what happens to you if you become incapacitated and will save your loved ones from making difficult decisions.
#2. A Simple Will
Simple Wills are ideal for uncomplicated situations. A Simple Will is a simplistic version of the last will and testament, and you can use it to appoint an executor and distribute your assets.
Your Simple Will should include the following:
- Clearly state that the document reflects your final wishes and is your Will
- Designate the people and organizations you wish to inherit your estate at the time of your death
- Choose an individual to act as the executor of your estate to carry out your wishes
- Select guardians to take care of pets and minor children, if applicable
- Make sure your will is self-proving, that is, you sign your Will before a notary and with two witnesses present.
#3. A Testamentary Trust Will
A Testamentary Trust Will appoints a trustee who is placed in charge of assets left to your beneficiaries who are minors or If you want to set up long-term care for a child or heir. This type of Trust allows you to place specific expectations on the beneficiaries inheritance, such as age and other determining factors. A Testamentary Trust is different from other Trusts and is formed after your death, and it will need to go through probate, which may present a disadvantage depending on your circumstances.
#4. Joint and Mutual Wills, or Mirror Wills
For domestic partners or married couples, a Mirror Will could be perfect if both partners agree to leave their estate entirely to the other party. Both parties also must name the same individuals or organizations as secondary beneficiaries in case they die simultaneously.
#6. A Nuncupative Will
A Nuncupative Will is also known as an Oral or Deathbed Will and is usually spoken aloud. When death is inevitable, the testator believes they are dying and chooses to declare their wishes before their death. There are specific requirements for writing a legally valid oral will, which varies depending upon the state, and certain states, like Alabama, do not validate Nuncupative Wills at all.
#7. A Pour-over Will
Pour-over Wills are often utilized with a Living Trust and outline how your unnamed assets will be transferred to the trust upon death. The significant benefit of a living trust is that all your assets in the trust have the advantage of avoiding probate. However, all assets not included in your trust upon death must go through probate court before being transferred into the trust.
Brackin Law Firm Is Here To Help You With Your Estate Planning
At Brackin Law Firm, our lawyers in Alabama are experienced in helping our clients with various legal matters, including estate planning. Whether you want to set up a simple trust or have a more complex situation, such as having a high-net-worth worth, Brackin Law Firm in Baldwin County can help.
We have over 40 years of experience and will provide you with the estate planning and trust solutions that will best fit your needs to ensure your family and estate are protected. Contact us, and we will begin assisting you today!