CT Wills & Trusts

 

What happens if I do nothing?

Believe it or not, a majority of Americans choose to do nothing. It has been reported that 70% of all Americans have no Estate Plan. As a consequence, upon their deaths, state law dictates how their probate estate is distributed. Unfortunately, the government’s plan has no particular concern for the best interests of your family.

What are some of the disadvantages of using preprinted will forms?

Preprinted will forms usually do not fulfill the needs of the person writing the will. Also, if part of the form is preprinted, part of it is typed and another part of it is handwritten someone might be able to contest the will claiming part of it had been forged. This is because any change in a will leaves room for doubt as to whether the testator, who is the person writing the will, made the changes or if someone else did. People tend to cross out, delete or add words to these preprinted forms. It can be hard to ascertain who made these changes and why. This problem also puts the will in jeopardy of being contested. Also, these preprinted forms are general forms and do not take into account the specific needs of the estate. Therefore, property may accidentally be left out, inheritors might not be included, and possible tax advantages not taken into account. Your documents should stay consistent with your future goals and plans. Consult with an Attorney to see what may be right for you.

What are some of the various types of wills?

There are various types of wills. An ambulatory will is a will that a person can change during that person`s lifetime. A double will is one in which two people join together, each leaving that person`s property and estate to the other person. The surviving person then owns both estates. This type of will is also sometimes called a counter will, joint and mutual will, or reciprocal will. Holographic wills are ones that are entirely handwritten, dated and signed by the person whose will it is. A living will is one that authorizes the withholding or cessation of life-sustaining medical treatments from an individual, who has been too incapacitated due to a life threatening and debilitating illness to make that decision. A qualified attorney can help you decide which type of will is best for you.

What is a codicil?

A codicil is a document that is used to explain, change, add to, or take away from, the existing will. It is not meant to contain the entire will itself, nor is it meant to totally revoke a prior will. The codicil serves to make changes to the existing will without having to rewrite the will entirely.

When should a will be changed?

A person should change one`s will when one marries, becomes a parent, gets divorced, moves to another state (since one`s will must be probated in the state one lived in at the time of death), if either one`s or one`s beneficiaries` financial state has changed, and/ or if one`s spouse or beneficiary has died. For more information as to whether you should change your will, please contact an attorney.