Familiarize Yourself With The Most Common Types of Wills

It may surprise you to know that a will is not just a written document stipulating how one’s assets are to be distributed upon one’s passing. Determining which type of will you wish to draft depends both on your wishes and the laws that reflect wills and probate in your state.

Statutory Will

Also known as a simple will, these types of documents will best serve those who own small estates. The state where the testator resides can provide a simple form that the person drafting the document can easily fill out. However, not all states recognize statutory wills. Be sure to consult an attorney familiar with the processes of formulating such documents to determine if a statutory will is legally binding in your state.

Testamentary Will

This type of will stipulates that a portion of your estate will be placed into a trust. Trusts work by distributing the assets of the testator to a beneficiary and the assets may be administered by a third party. The administrator of the trust will gradually distribute the assets listed therein to the beneficiary. However, it is also possible for the testator and the trust administrator to be the same person.

Joint Will

As the name implies, joint wills are formulated by two testators. They work by distributing shared assets to the testator who outlives the other. These types of wills are popular among married couples, as the surviving spouse is listed as the sole beneficiary. This type of will is strict in that it may be amended at any time while the two testators are alive but become final and irrevocable upon the death of one of them.

Living Will

This type of will is perhaps the most unique. Living Wills do not distribute assets after the passing of a testator. Instead, the form documents what is to become of the testator if he/she becomes too ill or incapacitated to communicate. For example, if a testator is involved in a serious car wreck and is on life support, the will may stipulate his/her wishes to be removed from life-preserving machinery if such a situation ever arises.

Speak with a San Marcos Divorce Lawyer

If you or a loved one is involved in family law litigation or a divorce case with child support, custody, or visitation issues, and need legal representation, don’t hesitate to also contact the Fischer & Van Thiel Family Law Firm of San Marcos at (760) 757-6854 to get solid Estate Planning Legal Advice and a Professional Estate Probate Will Lawyer Consultation.