Planning for the end of your own or a loved one’s life can be difficult. However, such planning is essential to avoid problems that can occur without it. The estate planning lawyers at Hynum Law have years of experience working with clients on their wills and estate planning needs. Our practical advice is based on the wishes of clientele and includes services such as:
- Drafting of wills
- Creation of trusts
- Opening (Probate) and Administration of estates
- Powers of Attorney
- Advance Directives
- Will contests
- Family Settlement Agreements
- Special Needs Trusts
If you would like to learn more about wills, here are answers to some common questions:
What Is a Will?
A will is a document that communicates what you wish to happen to your property after you pass away. The property of a will refers to both personal and real estate, and is as conclusive as you wish it to be. A will confers information about to whom you wish your property to go, and is assigned to an Executor to carry out - the person you want to coordinate it all.
A will covers whatever you choose. It can give things to your heirs, it can give money or property to charity, it can direct the creation of trusts, and more.
What Can You Expect When Drafting a Will?
The will drafting process begins with writing. An individual takes an accounting of all the items they wish to bequeath and the manner in which it occurs. Often times, individuals will meet with professionals before completing the final draft to ensure that the document is complete.
These professionals include: attorneys, tax professionals, and investment advisors. How long a will takes to draft depends upon the amount of issues and property to be dealt with. It can take an hour or it can take several days of work for very complex estate plans.
What is The Next Step After Drafting a Will?
Eventually, when the will is complete and conveys all necessary details, it is signed, witnessed, and notarized.
When the testator passes away, a will may then be taken to probate, which means filed at the county register of wills. Afterwards, the Executor is then sworn in. He or she is granted papers showing that the estate has been opened, and confirms that he or she is the executor.
The executor will often then hire an attorney to assist with administration of the estate. To ensure the assets are distributed based on the individual’s wishes, the attorney will again review the document before property distribution begins.
How Much Will a Will Cost?
Services can cost anywhere from $300 to many thousands of dollars depending upon the complexity of your will and your overall estate plan. There are many options out there for obtaining a will. Some of these range in price, and not all of them are equal.
Lowest price is not always the best option. Work with an attorney and a firm with which you feel comfortable. Research costs to make sure you are in the ball park. But never use price as the main reason for choosing an attorney to assist with drafting your will.
What Is a Will Contest?
Someone who has or may have had a valid interest in a person’s estate has what is called “standing” can contest a will. A Will Contest is an action filed in Orphan’s court challenging a will. Sometimes, people will contest a will when considering it invalid. A will can be invalid for a number of reasons:
- If the deceased did not sign
- If the person was not mentally competent at the time of signing
- If the will was signed under duress
- If the deceased was under some type of undue influence at the time of signing; such as being threatened or coerced
Do I Need a Lawyer?
It is largely a personal choice whether to obtain an attorney to draft a will. If a person has more than just a basic amount of things, it’s a good idea to consult with an attorney to make sure things are done according to their wishes.
Attorneys can help in two major ways:
- By working with the individual to make sure the document includes what it should, and conveys what it should
- By helping with the administration of the individual’s estate after they pass away.
Why Choose Hynum Law?
We offer a level of personal service when drafting wills by treating the people we work with as if they are our own family members. We also provide a questionnaire that assists those contemplating a will in considering many different issues that should be addressed, including issues a person may not normally think of.
It is this attentive and detail-driven approach that makes Hynum Law an excellent choice for drafting a comprehensive will to protect your property – and your legacy.