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Understanding the Three Legally Recognized Types of Wills

Posted by Admin Posted on Mar 23 2017

If you and your family are beginning the estate planning process in Sacramento, CA, you may find yourself putting together a will. You’re on the right track, as there are a number of reasons that having a will is essential. Taking the time to get some very important questions in order with proper answers is something everyone and anyone needs to consider at some point in their life.

A will dictates who will receive your property after your death and who will take care of your children, if you have them, after you die. Making a will ensures that your loved ones are provided for according to your desires and that these details about how they will be taken care of are presented in a very clear and specific fashion.

Before you begin contemplating the contents of your will, it’s important to understand the three legally recognized types of wills. The following details should be used for general informational purposes, as you—and your estate planning professional—should also take a look at your particular state’s laws to determine what types of wills are legally valid in your state.

Some states may allow all three of the following types of wills, while others may allow some types but not others and other states may have laws about additional types of wills that are considered legally valid.

Three Legally Recognized Types of Wills

Holographic will: The person creating this type of will prepares the entire document completely by hand, including the signature and date. It does not have witnesses and is not considered legally valid in all states. If it is being used, it should ideally only be created as a final resort.

Nuncupative will: A nuncupative will is an oral will. This type of will is only considered acceptable by a few states and under a small set of circumstances. As an example, a state may view it as legally valid only if the person creating it could not prepare a written will because of unexpected illness that resulted in death. These are generally only used to cover personal property, and some states may set a maximum amount for the value of the property in question.

Typewritten or witnessed will: Every state accepts this type of will. It must meet a particular state’s requirements for witnesses. As an example, a state may dictate that a witness to this type of will be a certain age or older and be considered to be credible.

In addition to assisting with will preparation, Yoder & Company, CPA specializes in tax and financial matters for individuals, businesses, nonprofits and fiduciary entities such as estates, trusts and employee benefit plans. We offer tax planning and preparation, accounting assistance and human resources compliance, among other services.

If you have questions about completing any of the types of wills described above or need to set up an appointment for other estate planning services in Sacramento, CA, contact our expert team at 916-488-5900 today.