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Last Will and Testament FAQ

A last will and testament is a necessary legal document that every adult over the age of 18 should have in place. Here are answers to some of the common questions that people have about wills.

Do I Need a Will?

A will is a legal document that provides instructions for the distribution of assets following death. Every adult should have a last will and testament in place to ensure proper resolution of matters. A will is essential because it gives guidance for how to handle your property after your death. It is essential, even for those who do not have a large amount of wealth. A last will and testament is your way to provide for your loved ones following our death. Generally, a will must be in writing.

What are the Legal Requirements of a Will?

In Wisconsin, there are several requirements in place to create a legal will. You must be at least 18 years old and be of sound mind to make a will. A sound mind simply means that you cannot have been declared incompetent prior to making your will. The document must grant property to a beneficiary. You must have two witnesses sign the document. It is good practice to get your will notarized. When you have a notarized will, it can reduce the risk of problems later and will make the probate process easier and more efficient.

What Happens if I Die Without a Will?

When someone dies without a will, state laws govern how the person’s assets get dispersed. This is known as dying intestate. Generally, intestacy laws provide for your spouse, if you are married, or your other close relatives to receive your assets. However, in many cases, you cannot be certain that the proper people will get your property. In addition, if you do not have a will it can make the probate process longer and more difficult. The only way to protect your loved ones and ensure that your wishes are carried out is by having a legal will in place.

How Can I Make Changes to My Will?

A will is a legal document, so you must be careful when you make changes. You must make changes properly or they could be challenged later in court. The best way to make a change may be to replace the entire document with a new one. You should keep your will up to date. This means that when you want to add or remove a beneficiary you must make changes to the document. If you fail to make the necessary adjustments, the wrong people might end up inheriting your property after you die.

Do I Need an Attorney for a Will?

While there is no requirement for an attorney draft a will, it is highly recommended. If you use a standard template or write your own will, you run the risk that there could be problems with it and your loved ones will not get your assets or that someone might challenge the will. Your attorney will review all of the requirements and assist you in making sure that you account for everything in the document. To learn more about wills and estate planning, contact our experienced legal team at Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd. Contact us online or call us at (608) 784-8310 for a consultation.

Published November 13, 2020
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