You know a will is the best way to preserve your legacy and protect your loved ones, but did you know that there is not just one type of will out there? From oral to holographic to pour-over wills, there are plenty of considerations that must be put on the table before deciding which route to take with your own estate plan. More importantly, you should go over each type of will with your estate planning attorney to assess which is right based on your assets, beneficiary situation, and more.
Statutory wills, also known as simple wills, are a common choice for those with small and uncomplicated estates – and those with relatively straightforward wishes. These can be considered generic wills, but they are not advised for all estates. While these could be drafted without an estate planning attorney, you should educate yourself as to how your statutory will affects your estate. Simple mistakes can leave your will invalid. It is better to contact an estate planning attorney to draft your simple will – since they are relatively inexpensive to create.
These are used in conjunction with a Living Trust. The primary beneficiary is the testator’s Living Trust. Essentially, this will will pour over any property that you still own at the time of your death into your Trust. With this arraignment, property left through the will must go through probate before it can enter the Trust.
Individuals will opt for Pour-Over Wills to direct assets that were not titled in the name of the Trustee of the Living Trust, but they want the assets to become part of that Trust upon their death. These control probate assets, such as those not in joint tenancy, not being inherited by a surviving spouse, etc.
A Holographic Will is one that has been handwritten and not witnessed. It must be signed, dated, and written entirely in the Testator’s (your) writing. These are not recognized in most states, and are easily contested – which is why they are never recommended.
Holographic Wills are often created out of emergency needs, such as a situation where the Testator believes death is imminent and they do not have time to draft a proper Statutory Will. Holographic Wills can be considered valid by the courts as long as it is in your own handwriting and your signature is similar to the handwriting.
Oral, Nuncupative, and Deathbed Wills
Oral Wills are those that are verbally presented and not written. They are made before witnesses and will be said aloud by the Testator to someone whom he or she wants the assets to be distributed to upon death. States do recognize Nuncupative Wills, as long as they meet certain restrictions. They must have two witnesses and the will must be committed to in writing by someone other than the Testator within a certain timeframe – as well as properly notarized. These types of wills can only designate distribution of personal property, and the state law will limit what can be distributed based on the wishes dictated in the Oral Will.
Have a True Estate Plan Drafted – Contact Beller & Bustamante, P.L. Today
While there are many types of wills, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The only way to truly protect your assets, loved ones, and even yourself is by speaking with an estate planning attorney. Beller & Bustamante, P.L. is a recognized expert in estate and family law in the state of Florida. We can assist you with your estate plan, including wills and trusts as well as other directives. Schedule a consultation with an estate planning attorney now by calling (904) 288-4414 or contact us online.