A lot of the pitfalls that plague wills and estate plans in Mequon, Wisconsin, such as contests by beneficiaries who think they got the short end, could have been avoided if the will had been better-drafted in the first place.
The procedure of drafting and executing a will can be very simple with the average estate which has only a moderate amount of assets held in only a few locations (a couple bank accounts, a house, maybe a stock portfolio). This is also true if the decedent simply wants to give their property to a few immediate family members, without setting up an intricate trust arrangement.
Nonetheless, even with "simple" wills, there are a few prevalent stumbling blocks that frequently make things far more difficult down the road. Fortunately with proper will preparation, most of them are easy to avoid, with the help of a good attorney in Mequon, Wisconsin.
With most wills, certain formalities have to be followed in the drafting process or will preparation, or else the will might not be legitimate. In general, these formalities exist with the goal of making fraud more challenging. The requirements for a will to be valid are pretty simple, but it's still possible to make mistakes in attempting to follow them. Most especially, you should know that a will must contain a provision stating that the person making it is of sound mind, and truly intends the document to be a will. Additionally, the laws of most states require that wills be witnessed and signed by at least 2 neutral parties.
Holographic Wills in Mequon, Wisconsin
In some (but definitely not all) states, "holographic wills" can sometimes be treated as valid wills. A holographic will is just a will that is written exclusively in the testator's own handwriting. They do not need to be witnessed in order to be valid.
A holographic will, where they are permitted, will usually be interpreted liberally, to give effect to the testator's intent if at all possible.
You should, however, know that not all states permit holographic wills. In such states, you can still hand write your will if you want, but all the formalities, such as witnesses, must be present.
If your state permits them, a holographic will might be a good way to go in some cases. For instance, if you don't have an unusually large amount of money, and simply want to leave your assets to close family members, or even to a single person (such as a spouse), it probably wouldn't be a problem. Nonetheless, even in cases like this, it's never a bad idea to make a will with the help of a lawyer.
How Can A Mequon, Wisconsin Lawyer Help?
Because there are specific formalities which must be followed in drafting wills, it's always a good idea to seek the guidance of a Mequon, Wisconsin attorney in drafting your will. Even if your will is going to be very simple, and you have the formalities all figured out, mistakes can be made.