Planning for death can be overwhelming to think about. While this may be true, developing an extensive estate plan is an important thing for all individuals to do. In doing so, you are able to plan for what happens to your assets when your life is over. Having this plan can protect your cherished possessions and belongings. When creating an estate, individuals often wish to write a will. A will is a document that acknowledges your wishes for your estate and how you want it to be taken care of after you pass away. An experienced attorney in Bristol County can help you draft a will that is best for your wishes.
Why is a Will Important?
Over a lifetime, no matter the lifestyle, people collect belongings that they love and adore. These are valuable items that should be passed down to loved ones in order to make sure they will still be taken care of. In writing a will, you are able to choose where your assets end up. This ensures that these cherished possessions will be given to the people of your choosing and not fall into the wrong hands. It also avoids any possible concerns or questions about what might happen to your estate should you die without a plan.
When an estate plan is not created, an individual is considered to die “intestate.” Dying intestate means that you do not have a written will or plan for the distribution of your assets. This leaves your estate to be controlled by the state of Massachusetts. When the state is in control of your assets, a judge can make any decisions about where they may reside. Create an estate plan can help to avoid any potential problems or rifts between family members regarding where your assets truly belong after you pass away.
Executing a Will
In Massachusetts, there are a certain set of requirements in place to ensure the validity of a will when it is being created. The person writing the will, otherwise known as the “testator,” must be of sound mind and body, in order to write a legal will. They are required to declare this aloud to two witnesses that must be present when the will is being signed by the testator. These witnesses must declare that they saw the will be signed, as well as sign the document themselves.
Contesting a Will
If an individual believes that a will is not valid, they may contest it. This means they are challenging the will because they are suspicious of its content. An individual may contest a will if they believe the requirements were not met in executing the document. A person may wish to contest a will for any of the following reasons:
- If there was any influence by another party
- If the deceased was not mentally competent when the will was written
- If the will was not executed properly
- If fraud or forgery took place
Contact our Firm
If you or a family member is looking to create a will for your estate and wish to speak with an experienced attorney, contact the Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley, P.C. today.
If you require compassionate and knowledgeable legal guidance for a matter of divorce, family or estate law, please contact the experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley today. Our firm proudly serves clients in Mansfield, Massachusetts and throughout Bristol County.