Was the Will Valid?

If a loved one passes on, it is important to determine whether or not he or she had executed a valid will during life. As a recent article explains, a will is the most common estate planning tool because it is the most simple way through which a person can state his or her wishes for the distribution of assets after death. The article discussed three important facets of wills, validity, limitations, and executors.

Will Validity:

One important principal concerning wills is validity. Every will must meet certain requirements in order to be considered valid. Although each state has different requirements, they generally require that the person who drafted the will be an adult, and be of sound mind. Additionally, most states require that wills are written and witnessed. Amendments to wills are also subject to such scrutiny.

Will Limitations:

Wills are not the be-all end-all of estate planning. Importantly, wills have limitations that may prohibit the testators described wishes from being carried out in full. Importantly, a will cannot dispose of an asset that has already been disposed of in some other way. For example, a will cannot direct the distribution of a life insurance policy, as this policy will list the name of the beneficiary, and the transfer of assets to that beneficiary is contractual.

Will Executors:

The will executor is the person responsible for carrying out the terms of the will upon the personโ€™s death. This person is appointed by the person who drafted the will, and may be a family member or professional. This person will have a lot of responsibility, including collecting, valuing, and distributing the decedentโ€™s assets.

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