What Exactly Is a Will?

Wills are important legal documents that every adult should have. If you don’t yet have a last will and testament, you should visit an estate planning attorney near Baltimore. An estate attorney can draft valid wills for individuals with very complex situations, in addition to those who only need wills to execute basic preferences.

As you’ll learn by watching this video, wills are primarily used to transfer assets after death. If you pass away intestate, or without a will, the state can determine who will receive your assets. For example, if you are a Maryland resident and are married with child/children, and you die without a will, all your assets may not go to your spouse. The State may require a portion of the assets to go to your spouse and a portion to your children. Also, if you have a child which you do not wish to receive anything or one child you wish to receive more, if you do not have a will all your children will be treated equally. By having a will, you can designate your preferred beneficiaries. If you have minor children, having a will is particularly important. This is because wills are legal means of naming guardians, custodians, and trustees for minor children in the event the natural parents pass away.

Do I need an estate planning lawyer to draft a Will?

The technical answer is no; however, that is not recommended. A form that you purchase in an office supply store, a computer program, or on an online website does not know if you are actually achieving your goals. I have seen homemade wills that were invalid because it gave property that passing outside the Will to a person or left assets to persons not entitled to receive them because of probate fees, tax debts, and personal representative commissions. A Will drafted by an estate planning attorney will not only meet all the statutory requirements but also will help you make sure you achieve your goal of leaving assets to the right person.