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A last will and testament is basically a legally binding
declaration through which an individual, called the testator, names at
least one person to manage his or her estate. The how to get a will
is also intended to take care of the actual transfer of his or her
property after the actual death. In the most technically legal sense, the
ďwillĒ has normally been restricted only to real property, but the
ďtestamentĒ only pertains to personal property dispositions. However,
this actual difference is hardly observed in the present day and age
anymore. It might also be possible for a will to establish a testamentary
trust thatís only going to go into effect after the testator finally
dies. The process of how
to get a will is going to be described below.
Tackling a situation that involves the death of a person
close to you is never easy, yet getting a last
will testament copy is an unavoidable part of the post-death tasks
that just need to be wrapped up. First of all, to obtain a last will and
testament, you must be certain that it actually exists and has not gotten
lost. The last will and testament will be regarded by the court as
something of a sacrosanct document since it is the final method a dead
person has to express what ought to happen to the estate he has left
behind. Since a will is also regarded as one of the most private and
confidential of official papers, it will not be available for public
record until 1 year after the death of the individual. Specific laws apply
to precisely how the will is going to be enforced. If you are a potential
heir to the dead person, you have the right to see this will prior to it
entering the public record.
In the process of how
to get a will, go to your local courthouse and request a
copy of it. If the will and testament is already a matter of
public record, you require the dead personís full legal name,
his address and his date of birth. You will require these details
for county courthouse documents that you must fill out. To get
your hands on the will, you might even have to pay a fee.
Once you have this information, get in touch with the willís
appointed administrator or executor. This can turn into a waiting
game since it can take the executor up to a year to make certain
that all claims against the dead personís estate have finally
been satisfied. It can take just as long for any leftover assets
to be handed out to parties in said will. The name of said
executor or administrator of the will is going to be on file at
the aforementioned courthouse.
You might want to see if the will is in probate court, too. Just ask
and check any public notices to determine if a case number for it has yet
been assigned. Prior to a will and testament being executed, a court may
have to make a determination with regard to its validity. Even though
estate laws arenít the same from state to state, a willís copy is
going to be retained by the court. In your quest of how
to get a will, you should remember that you can request a copy of
said will from the courthouse by writing or by phone. How
to get a will
If the will is still in probate, you can actually requisition a court
to challenge the will as a potential heir. It may be that the will was not
created when the deceased was in a sound state of mind, or the executed
will might not even be the final one.
Finally, you might also want to talk to the friends and family of the
dead person to see if the will is actually part of the public record,
which is integral to how
to get a will. Remember that not each will and testament heads to
probate, and its process might even be based on any property having been
dispersed within the will. For the transferring of both titles as well as
real property, the last will and testament had to be filed with a county
court to determine any such outcomes.
Questions About How To Get a Will
Probably, if you own property. While it is true that
state laws will say who receives certain property regardless of
what your Will says, there is still property that passes according
to your Will or according to the state intestate (dying without a
Will) laws. Therefore, it is a good idea to have a Will.
YES, if you have minor children. The only way you can say who
will raise your child(ren) and who will take care of their
property if you die, is to have a Will. Are there family members
that you want to raise your child? Are there family members that
you do not want to raise your child? You need to make your Will
for your children's sake.
Many professional advisors recommend making an
entirely new Will whenever you wish to make a change to your
existing Will. Making changes through a codicil can get burdensome
because you must keep the original Will and all the codicils to
it. Thatís because a codicil is simply an amendment to your
existing Will. If you make an entirely new Will, then the old Will
is revoked and only the new Will remains in effect. It's much
easier to keep track of one document that a number of them.
Keep your Will in a place where it can be found if
necessary. A good place is to keep it with your other legal
papers. You may keep it in a safe deposit box, but it is not
If you die without a Last Will and Testament, you
are said to have died "intestate."
In that case, the laws of the state in which you are domiciled
at the time of your death will control the settlement of your
estate and the distribution of your probate property
The laws governing intestate estates are designed with one
central purpose. That central purpose is to pay your outstanding
debts at the time of your death, then to pay the costs of
administering and settling your estate, then to distribute your
remaining probate property to your next of kin. If you donít
leave a Will to let people know how you want your property
distributed, the state has to do the next best thing and try to
guess at what you might want done, based upon what others in your
position have commonly done.
What do I need to know
to make my Last Will And Testament?
You need to know who you want to (1) receive your
property when you die, (2) handle your estate, (3) have custody of
any minor children you have, and (4) take care of any property
that is left to your minor children.
You can make a new Last Will And Testament as
often as you want. Do not make written changes in your Will after
you sign it. Strikeouts and written additions will void your Will.
For example, if you want to name a different person to be your
Executor, make a new Will.
Yes! If you change your mind on anything in your
Will, get married or divorced, or if something happens to one of
the beneficiaries name in your Will. How
to do a will
Are Last Will And
Testaments recorded at the Courthouse?
Can my spouse and I make
a "joint" Last Will And Testament?
Some states allow you to file your
Will at the Courthouse. I do not recommend this because it could
hinder your changing your Will in the future. If you feel safer by
filing your Will, call the Clerk of Court or a lawyer licensed in
your state to find out the procedures.
Maybe. Constitutionally, states must give credit to Wills legally
created in other states. However, since state laws vary as to what
is and is not covered by a Will, you may want to talk with a
lawyer licensed in your new state to make sure that your property
will still be distributed as you want it to be.
Yes, but I do not think that it is
a good idea. When a Will is probated, it is a permanent public
record. Since your Will is the "joint" Will on public
record, you may have a difficult time changing or even voiding
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