Most prefer not to think about their mortality. As a result, many people delay handling wills, probate, and other aspects of estate law until something prompts them to first. It might be losing a loved one, receiving a hefty inheritance, or getting diagnosed with a terminal illness. If you want to protect your family’s financial security, though, it’s important to take a proactive approach to the process. Since a will is the foundation of any comprehensive estate plan, it’s a good place to start. Here, M Dan Mason Attorney shares a few facts everyone should know about the topic.
Do You Know These 3 Facts About Last Wills?
1. They Can Be Handwritten
A handwritten will can hold up in a court of law—as long as it is legible, unambiguous, and meets all legal requirements. Estate planning attorneys advise against penning the official script, though, as doing so makes it vulnerable to additional scrutiny during probate. Instead, consider jotting down everything you wish to say and then bringing these notes to a lawyer for help with preparing a formal document.
2. They Can Be Voided Even if They Are Error-Free
If you staple a will together, but someone removes those staples to make copies, the entire document may become void. Once you eliminate these small items from the original draft, there is no way to tell if any of its pages are missing. To avoid making inadvertent errors like this one, turn to an experienced probate lawyer as soon as possible following the death of a loved one.
3. They Cannot Include Everything
Everyone should have a last will, but this is not the only estate planning document you likely need. To protect yourself and loved ones, you may also need to establish a few different powers of attorney. Further, you may want to create one or more trusts for distributing assets that you do not want to pass through probate.
In addition to the facts shared above, it’s important to remember that wills are not stagnant documents. Everyone should review their estate plan periodically, as major life changes may warrant modifications. If you need to create or update your draft, turn to M Dan Mason Attorney. Based in Meadville, PA, this seasoned lawyer has been helping clients throughout Crawford County for nearly 40 years. Estate planning isn’t his only area of expertise, though. He also focuses on criminal defense and civil litigation. To schedule a confidential consultation, visit his website or call (814) 724-2535.