You worked your whole life to acquire assets and heirlooms, don’t you want to have a say in who inherits them? An estate plan allows you to formally and legally express your wishes for what you would like to have happen with your belongings when you pass. Estate planning is a very important matter that you should discuss with your lawyer in Tampa. Estate planning is often overlooked due the misconception that it is only for the rich. Many people think that only wealthy older couples require estate planning for their vast sums of wealth, but, that is not the case.
Speak to your lawyer in Tampa now about why you need to start your estate planning process. It is easy to become lost with all of the information out there on the internet, so make sure you sit down with a lawyer in Tampa who can understand your individual goals and create a legally valid estate plan customized for you.
While this is not an exhaustive list and you should meet with an attorney to ensure your will is valid, here are a few basic items to consider when determining if your will is valid:
- Age – 18 or Older
Are you over the age of 18? A will created by anyone under the age of 18 is generally not valid. However, a minor under the age of 18 can usually create a legally valid will if he or she is emancipated.
- Follow Your State’s Laws Regarding Wills
Remember, every state will have their own specific laws when it comes to wills and their creation. Therefore, it is important to speak with a lawyer that is an experienced estate planner in that state, so you ensure that you follow the state’s laws correctly and that you will meet their requirements when it comes to creating a legally valid will.
- Mentally Competency in Drafting a Will
You must be of sound mind when creating your will. While competency laws vary from state to state, you generally cannot create a will if you don’t understand what you are doing, what you have, and who you want to leave things to. This is why it is important to create a will earlier in life rather than later. It can become difficult to create a valid will later in life if you have certain mental capacities diminished due to old age. Get a head-start now by creating a will while you are young. Also, don’t forget to update your will as you age and go through various life-changing events.
- Create a Will Because YOU Want To
When you create a will, it has to be because you want to have one. You cannot be illegally pressured or influenced to create a will due to outside influences. It’s actually illegal for someone to coerce you into creating a will. A will needs to be created on your own accord and must be voluntary.
- Signing Requirements
Each state has different laws determining the signing requirements. It is important to meet with a lawyer, so you understand your state’s laws. Do you need a witness or two? How about a notary? Is a notary required in your state? Having a will that is improperly signed can lead to costly litigation expenses for your family.
If you pass without creating a legally valid will, your assets may be contested upon your death. Don’t let your assets be assigned against your wishes. Speak to an estate planner now on how you can protect your family’s future. Check out our blog for more tips and info. Contact Fresh Legal Perspective today by calling (813) 448-1042 and ask about scheduling a consultation.