With the recent popularity of living trusts, many people in Manalapan Township think they may not need a will. However, a thoughtfully crafted will remains a valuable tool in the estate planning process.

Whether you are seeking to create a will from scratch, re-work a previous will, or need assistance with probating or contesting someone else’s will, a dedicated Manalapan Township wills lawyer might help. Any adult can create a will on their own, but to build a document that will be legally valid and accomplish specific goals, assistance from an experienced trusts and estates lawyer may be valuable.

Creating a Will

The best estate plans today are often composed of several pieces, including health care directives, trusts, and traditional wills. Even if most assets have been transferred to a living trust, there is likely property remaining that will need to be distributed. Moreover, a will can reinforce the directives of a trust.

There are many questions to be considered regarding how property should be managed and assets allocated. A Manalapan Township wills lawyer could review necessary decisions and help formulate a plan that includes naming an executor to pay bills and oversee tax preparation. An attorney might then devise a will with terms to fulfill specific goals and fit with other arrangements.

Probating a Will

After someone passes away, their will may need to be validated by a court through probate. Then the estate must progress through probate to ensure that creditors can press demands and receive payment before assets are allocated to beneficiaries.

The probate process can be confusing, and executors may face legal troubles if they fail to comply with any aspects of the law and their fiduciary duties. Many people find it helpful to work with an experienced Manalapan Township wills lawyer when it is time to probate a will.

Contesting or Defending a Will

Sometimes, the terms of a will may be confusing or disappointing to family members or others who had certain expectations. When the validity of a will or the interpretation of terms is disputed, seek assistance from a knowledgeable Manalapan Township wills lawyer.

An experienced wills lawyer could fight for a client’s interests while seeking a resolution that is efficient and cost-effective. If a matter cannot be satisfied through alternative dispute resolution, it may require litigation.

What Is the Purpose of a Will?

A will is an essential part of most estate plans. It allows someone to create instructions for the handling of their estate and distribution of their assets upon their death. By creating an enforceable will, an individual could ensure that their wishes are properly and thoroughly documented rather than leaving the decision of to how their estate will be disbursed in the hands of a judge. There are many common concerns that could be addressed in a valid will. In a will, the individual may appoint an executor to handle the administration of their estate, and name a guardian to care for their minor children if they are no longer able to do so.

What Happens if Someone Dies Without a Will?

Unfortunately, if someone dies without a will in Manalapan, they are considered to have died intestate. Ultimately, when someone dies without a will, the courts will decide how their estate is to be distributed according to the state’s laws of intestacy. According to the laws of intestacy, certain relations have first consideration to receive someone’s assets upon their passing.

If someone passes away with no children or parents, but their spouse survives them, they would receive the entirety of their estate once all taxes and creditor claims had been paid. If the individual dies and leaves a child and husband or wife behind, the court would award a certain percentage to the surviving husband or wife and the rest to the decedent’s children. In establishing a will, an individual could ensure that their assets are distributed as they desire and to the beneficiaries of their choosing.

What Determines the Validity of a Will?

Several factors must be present in the execution of a will for it to be legally enforceable. First, the testator must have the awareness and mental capacity to comprehend the nature of the legal construct they are establishing. Secondly, the individual must also be a legal adult and the will must generally be signed in front of witnesses.

Some factors that could render a will invalid is if the testator was coerced into signing the will or only did so under duress. Accordingly, if the testator was deceived or fraudulently influenced to signing the will, the document is unlikely to hold up in court.

Contact a Dedicated Manalapan Township Wills Attorney

There are many aspects to consider when choosing an attorney to create, amend, probate, challenge, or defend a will. Experience can enable a legal advocate to anticipate needs and devise creative yet effective solutions to fit those needs. Yet experience is only one of many essential tools.

An effective attorney also must remain respectful of clients’ wishes and attentive to needs. Your Manalapan Township wills lawyer should take the time to listen and help you consider all aspects of the situation before choosing a plan of action. For a free consultation to learn how a dedicated wills lawyer could help in your situation, call now.