A will is a legalized document which allows an individual to express their wishes as to how they want their estate to be distributed after they pass. The will-maker is known as the testator. The testator names one or more persons in-charge of their estate until it is finally distributed. Writing a will is essential, especially if your closely-related family members rely on you financially, and seek monetary support from you.
If you reside in Brooklyn, New York City, and are looking to understand the process of preparing a legalized will, you have come to the right place. Here is all you need to know about preparing a legal will in Brooklyn:
Writing Your Own Will
The entire process of writing a legal will in Brooklyn isn’t nearly as complex as many individuals fear. Some basic rules are all you need to follow in order to end up with a legal will that fulfills all your unique requirements.
To create your own legal will, firstly and most importantly, you should be a minor who is emancipated, or your age should be at least 18 years. Secondly, it is important that you are in your right mind. Your sound mental state is a strict requirement.
By the standardized interpretations, you are required to understand what a will is. In addition to that, you should be aware of your relationship with the person to whom you provide financial support to under normal circumstances. The recipient can be your spouse or kids. Moreover, you are required to understand what assets you own and should be able to decide how to distribute those assets.
Do You Need to Hire a Lawyer?
It is not always necessary to hire a lawyer in order to create your will. The process rarely involves any complicated laws or legal policies. A majority of individuals can easily draft their will on their own using a DIY software program or book.
However, if you are unable to get the answers to all your questions by the DIY resource that you are relying on, it is best to pay for the services of an estate planning lawyer in Brooklyn. Moreover, even if you do hire a lawyer, it is not necessary to hand over the entire project to them. You can simply get answers to your questions and then create your own will.
When Does a Will Become Legal?
Along with being over 18 years old and of sound mind, the following are some technical requirements that need to be fulfilled in order to make a will legal:
- It is necessary to sign your will in front of an estate planning lawyer if you wish it to be self-proving.
- It is necessary to prepare your will out of your own free will.
- The will must be generated using a computer or a typewriter, or a handwritten notarized will.
- You need to explicitly state in your document that it is your personal will.
- You need to sign and date the document.
- You need to get your will signed by 2 witnesses. Both need to be 18 years or older, and must not be the beneficiaries under your will.
Where to Keep Your Legalized Will?There are no dedicated government institutes in majority of the US states that keep wills. Wills are either kept by the will-maker or retained by the law firm who finalized the will. Most law firms agree to keep a legalized will, and that too, free-of-charge. You can either pick up your will at any time or send a letter to the firm in order to receive it. After your death, the executor appointed by you can do the same.Leaving your will at your residence is highly discouraged. This is because in the case of an accident such as your house getting caught on fire, your will and you both won’t be available; and there will be higher chances of your document getting stolen if kept at your home. For this purpose, you need to make sure that you store your will in a secure and safe location and keep your executor in the loop.
Special Needs Children
It is important to relay any information related to your inheritors to your will lawyer. You can either set some money aside for your child with special needs, or you can establish a trust fund. A trust fund allows you to appoint a trustee who will be responsible for using a particular amount of money from your estate for your child. This trustee is known as the beneficiary.
Appointing a Personal GuardianIt is essential to choose a personal guardian who can raise your children in your absence. This process grants you the satisfaction that your kids will be raised right when you are not around. Name an individual in your will who you think will be a reliable person for the job.Then, if your child doesn’t have both their parents to raise them, a judge will appoint the named individual to be that child’s guardian. However, the court is allowed to judge if the final decision is in the benefit of the children or not and revise their decision accordingly.
If you fail to name a guardian for your children in your legalized will, any interested person can apply for the position. The court will then make a final decision without taking your opinion into consideration.
If you are still finding it difficult to understand the process of creating a legal will in Brooklyn, or if you have any relevant questions to ask, feel free to contact us. We will be more than happy to assist you.