A will is a device used to convey ownership of or interest in personal and real property after a person's death. Wills can be oral or written and even videotaped. A simple will is a basic will that is best for people who do not expect to leave property valuable enough to require payment of estate taxes.
Having a will that specifically outlines your desires and preferences for how your estate will be managed and distributed can give you peace of mind. You can rest easy knowing that you have provided for your loved ones and helped your family avoid potential conflict and other difficulties that can arise when a person dies without a will.
Contemplating death can be uncomfortable. Placing your concerns about your estate in the hands of a professional attorney skilled in the preparation of wills can give you assurance that your will is legally valid and fully communicates your wishes. When you consult with an attorney, you can discuss questions you may have about avoiding or reducing the possible burden of estate taxes; how best to prevent your heirs from contesting your will; who you should choose as executor; and if witnesses to the will are necessary.
A will can be changed or revoked at any time before death if the testator (the person making the will) thinks it necessary to update or modify the bequests. Additions to a will, also called codicils, also can be used to update or modify the terms of a will. If you have a will, or at any time after drafting a will, you have the option to make changes and an attorney can carry them out on your behalf.
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