Legal Assistance For Wills
Wills are the most effective and common way you can prepare your family for your passing. When creating yours, you’ll want to seek legal assistance for wills. Even if you think your estate and assets are miniscule and that you don’t need estate planning, think again. Without a will in place, your assets might end up in the wrong hands or being battled over.
So What Are The Requirements?
For Georgia, your will must include:
- The testator must be at least 14 years old.
- The will must be in writing
- Their signature must also be included, or by another person under their direction.
- The testator must also be “of sound mind.”
- And there must be at least two competent witnesses at the time of the signature. These witnesses should also be disinterested parties; if not, the gift to the witness that also has a stake in the will is void unless there are at least two disinterested parties as well.
Can All Your Assets Be In Your Will?
Unfortunately, not all the property you own can be distributed through your Georgia will. Let’s say you own property that is owned in joint tenancy with the right of survivorship. This can’t be devised by will because of this right of survivorship. At your death, it totally becomes property of the joint tenant.
Other types of property that do not pass through wills include but are not limited to the following:
- Property transferred to a living trust
- Life insurance proceeds
- Retirement account monies
Note to frequently check who your beneficiary is on these accounts. Some of the best legal assistance for wills an attorney can provide is to remind you to review all of these documents periodically. New marriages, losses in the family, or other circumstances can make old beneficiary designations obsolete.
Intestacy: Dying Without a Will
Someone who dies without a will is called “intestate,” which invokes the laws of intestacy. In Georgia, if there are no children, a surviving spouse takes all property of the deceased. If there are children and a surviving spouse, they each take in equal shares. In any event, a spouse’s share in Georgia can never be less than 1/3 of the estate.
If there is no surviving spouse or children, the entire estate passes down the line to parents, siblings, uncles and aunts, grandparents, etc.
In order to avoid to have control over the distribution of your assets and to avoid your estate falling under the laws of intestacy, it is crucial to have a valid Georgia will.