In case of your death, your last will allow you to grant inheritance among your family and the respective amount that each one will receive. It also mentions deciding who will stand as the guardian for your child who is not yet of legal age.
Valid Will Requirements:
a. People who are 16 years old and above.
b. Documented Will. If handwritten, this excludes who is written as beneficiary.
c. All pages must be signed by the testator and two qualified witnesses aged 14 years old and above.
d. The signatures of the testator and the witness are very important and should be signed in the presence of each other. They must be together at the same time and the same place when signing is done.
The testator can execute the will if:
a. He is in full knowledge of his actions.
b. Knowledge of the content and rewards.
c. Knowledge of the nature of the assets involved.
d. Signature validity.
e. A testator’s signature can be accepted even if his name is a nickname and “X” is marked for the uneducated person.
f. Within the presence of the testator, proxy signatures are acceptable as stated by law.
g. Thumbprint is not allowed as a sign on a will. It must be certified first and must be done in front of witnesses and court.
a. They must be qualified even to the minimum qualifications or it will be voided.
b. They must not be included as beneficiaries.
The will should be free of fraudulent content, errors:
a. Fraud involvement and invalidity of the will.
b. False statements on the information.
c. The act is known to the executor.
d. Forcing the testator to revise the will in their favor or influence.
e. Influence needs substantial evidence for this will be difficult to approve.
The will must be conducted through proper procedures:
In the case of self-proved wills, the testator will sign separate papers in front of the notary public. The affidavit states all the essential information for execution. The witness doesn’t need to come and testify
Absence of Mistakes
a. Revisions on the will cannot be done postmortem or after death; it is only effective when the testator is still alive.
b. There will be cases that the testator commits an honest mistake on the rewards but he did not revise it — the will is still valid. On his death, the will cannot be rectified even by the court. This will reflect the testator’s intention.
The Attorney as Beneficiary
There are certain considerations for attorneys when they become beneficiaries. It is presumed that its undue influence plays as he made the draft for the testator’s will. The protection of the testator from unfair influence needs to be expedited.
Safekeeping of the Documents
The deposit box is the first place that a testator has in mind to keep the will. But in his demise, the delay of locating it is seen as it needs a court order. Mostly they use alternatives such as will box and vault of the attorney who is his trusted adviser. Some use a surrogate court in exchange for a safekeeping fee but it poses an inconvenience to the testator if he decides to revise or change the will later. This will also create confusion should the beneficiaries of the first will be affected by the revised will.
Process of Executing a Will
a. Review of the document. Last will be read and presented among the family members and heirs of the deceased by the attorney selected by the testator.
b. Court filing. Will is submitted to the court.
c. Accounting the assets. Finances and debts will be collected and computed.
d. Distribution as stated on the will. The beneficiary will receive a share.
e. Income tax deduction of the testator. The final income tax will be paid.
f. Closure of the property. Attorney closing the matter after executing the content of the will.
a. Testator. A person who authored and executed the will after he dies.
b. Will. A document that states the distribution of his properties and assets after death.
c. Witness. A person witnessing the event.
d. Notary Public. Authorized to execute legal certain legal paperwork.
e. Property. Possession of the testator could be real estate or other financial value.
Before you decide to have a will, make sure you know and understand everything that comes with it to make sure that it is executed properly.