Asked Questions About Wills
Q: What happens
when a person dies without a valid will?
A: Their state's laws of descent and distribution come into play.
Q: Aren't state
laws adequate for most situations?
A: No, because they're impersonal. They don't make exceptions.
They may also deplete your estate unnecessarily, as certain
other expenses can be minimized or eliminated through a well-planned
don't more people have wills?
A: Because they don't realize how important a will is. Some
think they don't own enough property to need one.
joint ownership make a will unnecessary?
That's a common misconception. Joint ownership may create
unnecessary estate taxes and may result in the
imposition of gift taxes. It may also deny you complete
while you're still living. Joint ownership is a poor
substitute for a will but can often work well in conjunction
a will reduce estate taxes?
A: Yes. Through a well-planned will you can make a number
of provisions that can reduce estate taxes.
both husband and wife have wills?
It's important that each have a will even when the
two wills may be essentially the same. The wills
into account any special bequests to other family
I need a will if my estate is small?
A: Yes. The smaller the estate, the more important
that it be settled quickly as delays usually mean
I write my own will without hiring an attorney?
A: You can, but It's generally not advisable.
Many homemade wills are declared invalid by
no substitute for the
professional expertise of a competent attorney.
Q: How much does
it cost to have an attorney write my will?
A: That depends on how simple or complicated
your plans are. Wills generally cost less
less than the emotional and financial cost
of not having one.
in advance about the fee.
I have a will, should I ever have to change
A: You should review your will periodically,
because even the best wills can become
financial status changes or charitable
interests change. If you have more children,
serve, or if you acquire property in another
state, revisions may also be