If you’re reading this, know that you need a will. To put it bluntly, every adult requires a will. The unfortunate reality is that legal battles have a horrible habit of making life extremely difficult at the most inopportune moments. And having a will is the only way to ensure that you (and no one else) decide who will care for your children and inherit your belongings when you die.
Will has long been used to ensure that a person’s final desires and dreams for assets and property are legally carried out after death for those unfamiliar with the concept. Wills, in turn, play an essential role in any trust and estate planning and should be created by everyone, regardless of wealth and status.
But which type of will is best suited to your circumstances?
Since there are many different types of wills, understanding which one will suit you best might seem like a difficult task. Here, we’ll break each type of will down and give you some insight on how you can choose one for you and your family.
1. Simple Last Wills
A simple will is a straightforward last will or testament. It specifies who you want to inherit your assets and property after you die. Here are some things to include in a simple will:
- State that the document is your last will and reflects your final wishes.
- Specify who or what organizations you want to inherit your property from after you die. Beneficiaries are these heirs.
- Appoint someone to carry out the provisions of your will. This person is known as the executor of your choice.
- Appoint guardians to look after your minor children or pets if you have any.
- Sign the will in the presence of at least eyewitnesses. By signing, the witnesses attest that you honestly wrote your will, that you were mentally competent, and that you were not under anyone else’s influence.
Never underestimate the power of a strong will! Despite the name, this type of will covers a lot of ground and is sufficient for most people with simple estates.
2. Mirror Wills
Mirror wills are wills that are identical and made by residential partners or a married couple. Each partner leaves their complete estate with this type of will. They all name the same organizations and individuals as secondary estate beneficiaries. That allows the couple to prioritize their partner’s financial stability before passing the estate to their heirs.
3. Joint Wills
Joint wills, like mirror wills, are created by a couple to ensure the financial security of their companion. However, unlike mirror wills, this type of will is a written document that the couple creates and signs together. The single will encapsulate both partners’ desires within a single document and cannot be changed without both partners’ accord.
That means that if one partner dies, the surviving partner cannot renegotiate the terms of the joint will or decide who inherits their property. Most estate lawyers suggest producing mirror wills instead of a collaborative will since a collaborative will cannot be modified after one partner dies.
4. Nuncupative Wills
Contrary to popular belief, a nuncupative has nothing to do with acupuncture. It is a testament that is spoken rather than written. This type of will is written because the testator (person making the will) may die soon.
Nuncupative wills also have rules that vary by state. The dying person is the testator (who expresses their wishes aloud). Only two or more individuals must be present for a nuncupative will to be valid. Many states necessitate that a nuncupative will is written down after it is said. In contrast, others will not acknowledge a spoken will at all.
5. Living Wills
A living will, despite its name, is not a will. Instead, it is a legal document outlining your end-of-life care desires if you cannot convey them. For example, if you were critically injured and rendered unconscious, your living will would affect.
A living will allows you to specify which medical treatment options and medications you want, which you don’t, and whether or not you wish to donate your organs. It allows you to maintain control over your health coverage and avoid burdening your loved ones with possibly throbbing or difficult decisions.
6. Deathbed Wills
A deathbed will is exactly as it sounds like: you make it if you’re dying. You can either write and mark it by hand or type it out and sign it in front of witnesses. One thing about deathbed wills is that they are almost always written during highly stressful times for everyone involved. This type of will, no matter how it is created, can cause a slew of issues. Because they are written so quickly, they are frequently riddled with errors. And proving their validity is more complicated.
Your mental state may be questioned because you make them under a lot of stress or anguish. There’s a chance you’ll leave out some of your assets, in which case the court will decide what happens to them. Nobody desires that.
How To Choose The Best Type of Will
Finally, your specific circumstances and scenario will determine the best will. Consider the following questions as you begin to draft a will:
- Do you own a house or other property?
- Do you have children from a previous or current marriage?
- Do you want certain people and institutions to inherit assets or land?
These questions can help you determine which type of will is best for your situation. A will’s ultimate goal is to carry out your final wishes, such as disseminating real estate or mentioning a guardian for minor children.
So that concludes our list of wills and how you can choose one to support your family when you are gone. Whatever type of will you choose, the important thing is that you have an estate plan. It can be challenging to plan for the future, especially when you know you won’t be there. But it’s one of the wisest and most considerate things you can do for your loved ones. So get started now and create a loving legacy that will last forever.