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Mar 27

Finance And The Legal Framework Governing Wills

Posted by at 23:02 | Default | Comments(0) | Reads(791)

Contrary to the general belief that estate planning is only for the affluent, it must be appreciated that all economic classes stand to benefit from a properly-prepared will as it can legally protect your wishes and distribute your property as you desire. A smartly-drafted will can also minimize the tax impact of the property distribution. Everybody should make out their will as otherwise if you die without one, the property will be distributed as per state laws. It is important that you get proper legal advice when preparing a will as there are a number of state laws that need to be kept in mind to enable your wishes to be carried out as per your intention.

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In England and Wales you will find no law forcing people to leave their assets or wealth or property to their family. Here, an individual has full freedom to write a will in favor of anyone he wishes to. He can do whatever he pleases. However, it is expected that he would act with certain degree of responsibility and leave reasonable provisions not only for his family, but also, those who are supposed to be financially dependent on him.

Essential Points to Remember Regarding Preparing Wills

For the will to be legally valid, you need to be 18 years or older and be in a written format. The will must have been written when the person is of sound mind and judgment and must clearly state that it is his will. The will must be signed in the presence of a minimum of two witnesses and an executor named who will be responsible for distributing your estate according the wishes stated in the will. While it is not essential for the will to be recorded or notarized, but if this is done then it can safeguard your will against claims for the will to be held invalid. Visit our website http://www.disputingwills.co.uk for a more detailed note on these points.

Location of the Property

Often there can be disputes regarding legality when the decedent lives or is domiciled in one state and the property is physically located in another. Conflicts may also arise in case the state where the will is probated and the state in which the property is located are different and might require application of other laws of the state to determine issues such as validity of the will and capacity of the person. Generally, the laws of the state in which the testator is domiciled at the time of his demise will prevail, however resolution of actual transmission will be done in accordance to laws of the state in which the property is located.

Amending or Revoking Wills

There are quite a few ways of changing wills. If the changes are nominal, then they can be simply made on the relevant pages of the existing will and the signatures of the testator and witnesses affixed in the margins of the pages. A memorandum can also be made listing the changes and signed by the person making the will and the witnesses. A separate document referred to as a codicil may also be prepared that is like an update at the end of the will; this is also to be signed by the testator and the witnesses. However, if a lot of changes need to be made, then it is simpler to revoke the original will and make a fresh one. The procedure to be followed for making the new will is the same as originally used. In case, the earlier will is not revoked then there could often be a dispute regarding the validity of the will by aggrieved parties.

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