A lot of the dilemmas that plague wills and estate plans in River Falls, 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 process 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.

However, 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 River Falls, Wisconsin.

A substantial percentage of the problems that prevent wills from taking effect are caused by failing to follow the required formalities in will preparation. In most states, wills need to be witnessed and signed by at least two people who have no direct interest in the matter. They also have to include a clear written statement that the document is, in fact, the testator's will. It also has to be witnessed by at least two people. Witnesses cannot be anyone who has a direct interest in the will, which includes close relatives of the testator and anyone who's named in the will.

Holographic Wills in River Falls, Wisconsin

If you need to make a will quickly, some states permit you to write a "holographic will." This is simply a will which the testator hand-writes. These types of wills don't need to be witnessed.

Holographic wills, assuming they're recognized, are interpreted very broadly. This gives them the best possible chance of truly being implemented, since they will rarely be invalidated on technicalities.

You should be aware that not all states recognize holographic wills. In such states, you can of course still handwrite your will if you want. But for the will to be valid, it has to be accompanied by all the formalities (including witnesses) needed for any other will.

If they are permitted in your states, a holographic will can be a good option, in some cases. If you do not have a considerable amount of money and property that you want to pass on, and your devises are going to be very simple (regular gifts to just a few people), a holographic will can suffice. However, you should seek the advice of a lawyer beforehand, and know that it is almost always a better option to have a will accompanied by all the required formalities.

How Can A River Falls, Wisconsin Lawyer Help?

Because of the various required formalities that accompany a will, it's not a bad idea to have a knowledgeable River Falls, Wisconsin attorney help you draft your will, even if it is relatively simple.