What you should know about wills
A will is basicaly a piece of paper signed by two witnesses (unrelated to you) that states what happens to your property and possesions in the event of your death.
Question: Can I write my own will?
Answer: Yes, wills can be as simple as a writting "Bob gets it all" on the back of a store reciept. I would not advise this. Handwritten wills can be contested easily in a court of law, since it wouldn't be difficult to alter after your death. Also, "Do It Yourself Wills" which are extremely popular are also easy to contest in a court of law. These programs are not very specific and since laws vary from state to state, they sometimes can be inneffective and extremely costly to your benifactor to uphold.
Q.: Do I Need a Will?
A.: Yes, every person need a will. The laws of "descent and distribution" basicaly state that... Without a will a persons property will be split equally, by the state, between your spouse and children. That means in the event of your death, the state will force your spouse to share all your property (eg. land, home, vehicals), have to obtain permission from all included persons to sell anything, and all monies will be split among your spouse and children. Which means, if you have a money hungry hateful child, your spouse could loose thier home, perminatly.
Q.: What is the process after I am"gone"?
A.: In the event of your death, your "Executor" named in the will shall have to file an application to probate the will. "Probate simply means- to prove to the law that the will is actually a legal will and is true to the deceased persons wants. After that, it is the exectuers job to handle outstanding debits owed and the property distributed as the will states.
Q.: How long do I have to probate a will?
A.: There is a four year window, after your death, to file a probate for a will. After that time has expired, whomever is in possesion of your property will be the owner of it.
Q.: Can someone challange my will?
A.: Yes, but this rarely happens when the will is written by a lawyer. Any good lawyer will not allow a person to be bullied into signing anything. A handwritten will or do it yourself will done at home, can be contested by someone saying that you were pressured into signing, againt your will, or that you were no longer able to make decesions due to illness, dementia, or age.
Q.: What happens if I'm in an accident and can no longer take care of myself?
A.: If you have not set up a power of attorney, you could end up a ward of the state with the state taking control of all your asstes to fund your care for the rest of your life and be interned in a care facility or given to a distant relitive called a guardian who can dump you in a care facility and not be required to answer to your most caring friend or family member who would never do you wrong . A power of attorny can protect you. Before disaster happens you can map out your care and who will be in charge of your care and well being. This person is called an attorney in fact and will have control of all your property (including yourself) and be in charge of medical decesions.
Q.: What is a death Directive?
A.: A "Death Directive" gives your spouse, family member , of friend the right to make medical decesions in case you are unable to for any reason where you cannot speak for yourself. Without this, a doctor can make any and all medical decesions for you.
Q.: What is a DNR?
A.: A DNR, Do not resusatate. is an order to protect your final wish. If you do not wish to live on life support for an extended period of time due to what ever reason, a DNR takes the stress and pain out of your loved ones hands and off their conscience. A DNR order also prevents fighting among sibilings in your final hours.