Types of Wills and How to Choose Which One Is Right for You

No one likes thinking about death, but if you have assets you care about, you have to ensure they end up in the right hands upon your passing. Regardless of whether you want your family to be taken care of or donate everything you own to charity, creating a will is necessary. However, you have to be aware that there are several types of wills and which you need depends on your circumstances and goals. Keep on reading to learn more and choose the right one for yourself.

Living will

First, you need to understand that a living will is not a will that concerns the distribution of your assets after death. Instead, it is a medical directive that will instruct others how to proceed if you are unable to speak for yourself. It is used for end-of-life planning when people don't want to burden tough decisions on their loved ones. On the other hand, you can also use the medical power of attorney and allow a person you know and trust to make the decisions for you. When creating a living will make sure to do it so that it matches your country’s requirements.

Deathbed will

Even though having any will is better than having none at all, you might want to prepare in advance and skip having a deathbed will. These are not very effective, seeing as how they are made on a deathbed. These circumstances might affect one's mental stability and lead to certain assets being left out of the will and other errors. It is also hard to prove them to be valid, which might cause problems for your loved ones.

Deathbed will
Any will is better than having none at all

Testamentary trust will

On the other hand, a testamentary trust will is an excellent tool for managing your assets' future. Also known as will trust and trust under will, this approach places your assets into trusts for your beneficiaries and appoints a trustee who will handle the trust. As it comes into existence after your death, you should work with professionals to create a testamentary will that will suit your circumstances and protect your assets and beneficiaries. You should consider this type of will if you want to impose some conditions on the inheritance.

Pour-over will

In case you have not divided everything in your trust, you will probably want a pour-over will. This legal document works with the trust, and it ensures that the remaining assets are transferred to the trust upon your death. Keep in mind, however, that the property will first go through probate before it is placed in the trust, meaning that it will take time and money as well as cause stress to your loved ones.

Simple will

As its name suggests, a simple will has no special clauses. While it is simplistic, it is beneficial, and people use it when designating a guardian for their kids, appointing an executor, or leaving their small estates to certain people. If your assets are not subject to estate taxes, a simple will is a perfectly fine option.

Joint wills and mutual wills

These are usually drawn up by spouses but can be very limiting as the terms cannot be changed once one of the spouses dies. Joint and mutual wills are typically used to ensure the property is passed to children of a marriage instead of the new spouse in case of a remarriage.

Mutual wills
Mutual wills

Mirror/reciprocal wills

Another option spouses go for is a mirror will. This includes two identical wills where one spouse leaves everything they ownto the other, and upon their death, the other spouse is allowed to draft a new will.

Holographic will

A holographic will is a handwritten type of will. If you wrote it on your own without any witnesses, the chances are that it will not be valid in every place. Seeing as how you have many other options, avoid doing this to save your family from a lot of frustration.

Nuncupative will

Also known as oral wills, nuncupative wills are spoken and not written down. You can tell someone what your wishes concerning your property's distribution are but be aware that very few states recognize this type of will. In some places, you need witnesses, while in some, death's imminent danger makes the will legal.

Now that you are a bit more familiar with your options choosing the right will for your circumstances should not be too difficult. Don’t hesitate to consult a lawyer if you are not sure, though.

Author Bio:

Patrick Adams
Patrick Adams

Patrick Adams is a freelance writer and rock-blues fan. When he is not writing about home improvement, he loves to play chess, watch basketball, and play his guitar. More than anything, he loves to spend his time in his garage, repairing appliances and creating stuff from wood.

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