Will Legal Term Definition

„A will is a document that has no effect until the death of the testator and which, until then, is a simple declaration of his intention and which may be revoked or amended at any time until that death. The execution of the will leaves the testator free to dispose of his property at will during his lifetime and the work of these among the living persons subject to this provision; and on the other hand, a person designated as the beneficiary of a will is not interested in it until the death of the testator and will then accept interest only if he is alive at that time. Conversely, divorce will not revoke a will, but in many jurisdictions, the ex-spouse will be treated as if he or she had died before the testator and therefore will not benefit from it. The concept of free will, which is familiar in modern England and the United States, both of which are generally regarded as common law systems, is by no means universal. In fact, total freedom is the exception rather than the rule. [3]:654 Civil law systems often restrict the possibilities of elimination; see e.B. „Forced marriage“. After the death of the testator, an application for succession may be filed with a court of competent inheritance to determine the validity of the will(s) that the testator may have drawn up, i.e. which meet the legal requirements, and to appoint an executor. In most cases, at least one witness is invited to testify or sign an affidavit of „evidence“ during the estate. However, in some jurisdictions, the law may impose requirements on a „self-proving“ will (must be completed upon execution of the will), in which case the testimony may be waived during the estate. Often, there is a time limit, usually 30 days, within which a will must be admitted to the estate. In some jurisdictions, only one original will may be admitted to the estate – even the most accurate photocopy is not enough.

[Citation needed] Some jurisdictions will allow a copy of a will if the original was accidentally lost or destroyed and the validity of the copy can be proven to the satisfaction of the court. [25] For example, the 2007 Montana Code, Chapter 72 (on „probate“; in data.opi.state.mt.us/bills/mca/72/2/72-2-522.htm), modeled on the Uniform Code of Succession of the United States, defines a will as follows (extract only): The longest known legal will is that of the English frederica Evelyn Stilwell Cook. Tried in 1925, it had 1,066 pages and was to be bound in four volumes; His estate was worth $100,000. The shortest known wills are those of Bimla Rishi of Delhi, India („all to the son“) and Karl Tausch of Hesse, Germany („all to the woman“), both of which contain only two words in the language in which they were written (Hindi and Czech, respectively). [21] The shortest will is from Shripad Krishnarao Vaidya of Nagpur, Maharashtra, consisting of five letters („HEIR`S“). [22] [23] In some jurisdictions, the complete revocation of a will automatically revives the next most recent will, while others believe that revocation does not leave a will for the testator, so his heirs will instead inherit by legal succession. A testator must sign his own will, unless he is unable to do so, in which case the testator must order another person to sign the will in the presence of witnesses, and the signature must be attested and/or notarized. A valid will remains in effect until it is revoked or replaced by a subsequent valid will. A final will and a will are a legal document that communicates a person`s last wishes regarding property and relatives. A person`s last will and will describe what to do with the property, whether the deceased leaves it to another person, group or charity, and what happens to other things for which they are responsible, such as .

B keeps loved ones and manages accounts and interests. Some states allow unusual wills, such as a holographic will, while others do not. A will is a legal document that expresses a person`s wishes (testator) on how their assets (estate) should be distributed after their death and which person (executor) should manage the property until its final distribution. For the distribution (decentralization) of property that is not determined by a will, see Inheritance and Succession. Jurisdictions intentionally define wills differently because some require the testator to perform a series of formal procedures, such as witness testimony or notarization; Others are content to impose even a holographic will. However, some wills involve complex issues, so a person may benefit from the help of a lawyer when drafting their will. Lawyers are often hired even when a will is contested. A lawyer may provide assistance in situations involving the distribution of a multi-million dollar estate, the creation of a non-standard trust, or in a situation where the testator plans to disinherit a spouse. Middle English, from Old English willa will, desire; Similar to the English Old Will, if a person dies without a valid will, he or she dies in good condition, meaning that the state becomes the executor of the estate.

When settling the estate, the state decides how the property is distributed and who receives the payment first, regardless of a family`s situation. Note: A properly executed international will is always subject to local probate laws. The validity resulting from compliance with the legal requirements for such wills is purely formal, and a will that is not valid in relation to these requirements may still be valid under other rules. „The intention that the document constitutes the testator`s will may be proved by external evidence, including, in the case of holographic wills, parts of the document that are not included in the testator`s handwriting. State laws do not require the assistance of an attorney when drafting a will. Since most wills only require instructions to distribute property and appoint a guardian for minor children, most people can create a simple will using software, ready-made forms, or instructions from a book. In the common property jurisdiction, a will cannot be used to disinherit a surviving spouse who is entitled to at least part of the testator`s estate. In the United States, children can be disinherited by the will of a parent, except in Louisiana, where a minimum proportion is guaranteed for surviving children, except in specially listed circumstances.

[10] Many civil law countries follow a similar rule. In England and Wales, from 1933 to 1975, a will could disinherit a spouse; However, since the Inheritance (Family and Caring Provisions) Act 1975, such an attempt may be rejected by a court order if it leaves the surviving spouse (or other eligible dependant) without „adequate financial provision“. .

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