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Intellectual Property

 May 09, 2022

Types of Wills—Which is Right for You?

Man reviewing types of Wills on a laptop

When it comes to estate and end-of-life care planning, there are a lot of different types of Wills that you can choose from. It can be confusing trying to figure out which one is right for you. Still, choosing the right Will can impact your well-being, estate, beneficiaries, assets, and loved ones.

The importance of having a Will can’t be overstated. In this article, we will discuss the different types of Wills and what each one entails. In general, there are Wills that cover the distribution of your estate and assets, as well as Wills that detail your wishes for end-of-life care. We will also help you figure out which things to consider in a Will once you’ve made a selection.

Wills for Your Estate

Oral Wills

An Oral Will, also known as a nuncupative Will, is a document that is spoken aloud instead of being written down. This type of Will is typically used in emergency situations where the person doesn’t have time to write down their wishes. However, there are some drawbacks to Oral Wills. For example, they can be difficult to prove in court. Additionally, they’re typically only valid for small estates.

Simple Wills

A Simple Will is a document that outlines how you want your assets to be distributed after you die. You can use a Simple Will to specify things like who you want to receive your property, who should take care of your minor children, and whether you want to leave money to charity. Simple Wills are the most common type of Will. They’re typically used by people who have straightforward estate planning needs and don’t have a lot of assets.

Joint Wills

A Joint Will is a document that outlines how you and another person want your assets to be distributed after you die. This type of Will is typically used by spouses or partners who want to leave their assets to each other. However, there are some key differences between Joint Wills and Mirror Wills. For example, with a Joint Will, each person has their own separate document. Additionally, a Joint Will can’t be changed without the agreement of both parties.

Mirror Wills

Mirror Wills are Wills that are identical in nearly every way. They’re typically used by spouses or partners who want to leave their assets to each other. If one spouse dies, the other will inherit everything. One of the main benefits of Mirror Wills is that they can be tailored specifically for your needs. For example, you can use them to specify how you want your assets to be distributed if both you and your spouse die at the same time.

Holographic Wills

A Holographic Will is a document that is entirely handwritten and signed by the person who created it. This type of Will doesn’t need to be witnessed, which makes it convenient if you don’t have time to see a lawyer before you die. However, there are some drawbacks to Holographic Wills. For example, they can be difficult for your loved ones to interpret. Additionally, because they’re not witnessed, there’s a risk that they could be contested in court.

Wills for End-of-Life Care

Living Wills

A Living Will is a document that outlines your medical wishes in the event that you become incapacitated and are unable to communicate your decisions. Creating a Living Will enables you to specify things like whether you want to be on life support, what types of medical treatments you do or do not want to receive, and who you want to make decisions on your behalf.

Most people create Living Wills so that their loved ones won’t have to make difficult decisions about their care if they become incapacitated. It can also help to ensure that your wishes are carried out if you become unable to communicate them yourself.

How to Choose the Right Will for You

Now that you know the different types of Wills, how do you choose the right one for your needs? The answer will depend on a few factors, including the size and complexity of your estate, and your personal preferences.

If you have a simple estate and don’t need to worry about things like taxes or probate, a Simple Will may be all you need.

Ultimately, the best way to choose the right Will for your needs is to speak with an experienced estate planning lawyer. They can help you understand the different types of Wills available to you.

What Are 4 Major Components of a Will?

No matter which type of Will you create, it’s important to keep these four major components in mind:

  1. Name someone to be your personal representative/executor.
  2. Outline your personal details and estate information carefully.
  3. Choose specific beneficiaries for your assets (including digital assets).
  4. Sign your Will in front of non-benefactor adult witnesses for legal approval.

Discover all you need to know when writing a Will.

Ready to Begin Estate Planning?

Estate and end-of-life care planning are important processes that everyone should go through. However, it’s not always easy to understand what the different types of Wills entail. If you’re ready to draft a Will, LegalShield can help. We take the complication and high expense out of basic Will writing.

Learn how you can easily get started drafting your Will with help from LegalShield’s Last Will and Testament lawyers today.

Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. (“PPLSI”) provides access to legal services offered by a network of provider law firms to PPLSI members through membership-based participation. Neither PPLSI nor its officers, employees or sales associates directly or indirectly provide legal services, representation, or advice. The information available in this blog is meant to provide general information and is not intended to provide legal advice, render an opinion, or provide any specific recommendations. The blog post is not a substitute for competent legal counsel from a licensed professional lawyer in the state or province where your legal issues exist, and the reader is strongly encouraged to seek legal counsel for your specific legal matter. Information contained in the blog may be provided by authors who could be third-party paid contributor. All information by authors are accepted in good faith, however, PPLSI makes no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability, or completeness of such information.

 

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