A will is an essential legal document to possess when it comes to ensuring the smooth transfer of your estate after death. This single document instructs the court on desired actions following your death and enumerates the rights of your heirs to receive property and other assets.
Forming a will can be a straightforward process. However, it is necessary to understand the legal impact that this document will have on your heirs as well as other parties who may stand to inherit without the existence of the document.
A Junction City wills lawyer could help you to form a will that carries the intended effect. This includes identifying your assets, naming your heirs, and crafting documentation that carries the proper legal weight during probate. A skilled attorney could explain this process in more detail.
In the simplest sense, a will can be little more than a statement describing what a person wishes to happen to their property after their death. However, to reduce potential complications during probate and to make a testator’s intent clear, the law establishes standards that determine a will’s validity.
According to Kansas Statutes §59-601, any adult in sound mind may create a will. Ideally, this will should be in writing. Under KS Statutes §59-606, the testator must sign the document. In addition, at least two witnesses must also sign the document in the presence of the testator. Finally, the statute provides a notary’s form that serves as a way to self-authenticate the will. An experienced attorney in Junction City could aid an individual in constructing a will under state law to give the document the best chance of holding up in court.
The core purpose of a will is to dictate what happens to a person’s assets after they die. A will accomplishes this by overriding the state’s law concerning intestacy. An individual that dies without a will is considered to have died “intestate,” and as a result, KS Statutes §59-504 will outline who inherits the individual’s property. A will instructs a court to ignore this statute, explaining instead how an individual wishes for their assets to be divided after death.
Another function of a will is to nominate an executor. An executor has the sole legal authority to administer a decedent’s estate, including paying debts and distributing property. Naming an executor who is willing and able to serve in this role is a vital step when creating a will.
It is important to recognize the impact that a will can have on people who are not named in the document. Under the intestacy statute, spouses and children are first in line to inherit if a person dies without a will. If an individual does not wish for their assets to go to these parties, this must be specifically stated in their will. This can help to avoid allegations of undue influence or unsound mind that could complicate the probate process. A knowledgeable lawyer could help to provide more information about the legal impact of wills in Junction City.
Although a will may not have any legal effect for years or decades, it can bring peace of mind as well as protection should a sudden accident or illness occur.
Constructing a will can be highly involved, especially for those who have intricate plans for their estate. A Junction City wills lawyer can work to explain the rules of construction and draft documents that leave no doubt as to your wishes for the future. Reach out to a dedicated wills attorney today to schedule a consultation.