preparing a will

The Preparation of a Will to Avoid Intestacy

A will is a testator’s final expression regarding the disposition of his or her property. There are many issues that should be addressed in a will, such as: the treatment of the decedent’s body (such as burial or cremation); the treatment of the decedent’s body parts (in cases of donation); the care for family members; the treatment of creditors to the estate; who will be the executor of the will; and of course the disposition of remaining property of the decedent.

To die without a valid will is to die “intestate,” or in other words, “without a testator.” One of the primary, if not the primary, purposes of preparing a will is to avoid intestacy. Without a will in place many of the above-stated issues will be resolved according to the laws of intestacy within the decedent’s state. The use of a will almost undoubtedly results in an outcome more agreeable with the decedent’s wishes.

Another purpose of utilizing a will is to avoid disputes among family members regarding the disposition of a decedent’s property. For this purpose it is not only critical that a will be put into place, but that the will be well drafted to avoid any ambiguity in its intent or execution. For this purpose it is important to seek legal counsel in drafting a will because, though some people’s wills may be very simple in the issues they need to address, the training of an estate planning attorney is critical to avoid potential challenges that arise when a will is ambiguous.


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