A surprising number of people do not have a valid and accurate Will. Major life changes, such as a divorce, covid-19 or a new child, can cause your testamentary documents to become out-of-date. Other people may have started the process, but the will may not be complete or legally enforceable. Still others have never even spoken to a lawyer about these matters. If you die intestate (without a Will), the state will make important decisions concerning your family and your money.
There is no reason to leave these matters to bureaucrats when the experienced Wills attorney at the Law Offices of Laura D. Frye Ltd. can prepare and execute a Will for you, in many cases in as little as one or two visits. We can also give you accurate legal advice about your estate plan documents, such as preparing a trust, and your family's needs. After your Will is complete, not only do you receive peace of mind knowing that your estate plan is in order, you have laid an important foundation for a more comprehensive plan later on.
When you make a Will, you make life easier for your heirs in what will be a very trying time. This one document lets you meet several objectives, including :
Property Distribution: You can leave your personal and real property to the people and/or organizations that you designate.
Personal Guardian: Many people choose a close relative or friend to take care of their minor children, but the choice is yours alone.
Property Guardian: If your children are due to inherit any real or personal property, no matter how much or how little, it is usually a good idea to appoint a guardian of the estate to look after this property until your children reach the age of inheritance.
Executor: This person, or entity, carries out your final wishes according to the provisions in the Will, thus avoiding uncertainty and conflict.
The Will must make certain statements and declarations; for example, you must be over 18, be of sound mind and be aware of all your heirs and property. As trivial as these matters may sound, many wills are invalidated because the testators (people making the Will) do not meet the qualifications.
Additionally, your Will must be properly executed. There must be at least two witnesses who must also sign the Will. Although it is optional, most Wills contain a self-proving affidavit which makes it much easier for a judge to approve your Will in court. We typically perform an informal Will signing ceremony at our comfortable offices, where we make sure that the proper procedure is followed and that you have the right number of copies for your records.
If you already have a Will but want or need to change it, we suggest that you physically destroy the old one and create a new one from scratch, to help avoid any future questions or controversies about which will may or may not be valid.
Decisions regarding the distribution of your estate and the protection of your children are far too important to be left to strangers. To take control of the situation with a proper Will.