What is on top of the list of your life's goals? Looking at those goals, how many of them point toward the need to lead a happy, fulfilling, and secure life? Most, if not all, right? That should also mean that you are working hard to get there. And, if you are a parent or planning to a parent at some point in future, then you wish to secure the lives of your children, ensuring that they never lack, even in your absence. We would, therefore, presume that you have a last will and testament drawn just to take care of things when you are no longer around and unable to assert your wishes, right? Well, if you have a will, then we laud you for your efforts.
Unfortunately, that is not the case for many people out there. Even with great life insurance plans and even trusts, most people forget to create wills.
A last will and testament is a legally recognized instrument that lays out your wishes regarding estate distribution. By listing who you want to inherit your estate, you not only protect your heir(s), but you also protect yourself. Using a free Delaware last will and testament form, you protect your honor from ridicule, especially if your loved ones engage the state on the distribution of your estate. We've all seen the messy court battles on property distribution, haven't you?
Other uses of the free last will in Delaware
Well, that piece of paper you sign will ensure that a charity organization close to your heart keeps doing what they are doing because you include organizations or even societies on the list of beneficiaries of your estate.
What's more, the kids we mentioned above will be in safe hands especially if you pass away when they are minors because, a will allows you to appoint a willing guardian to take care of your children up to they are of legal age, or forever. Best part, the appointment is legal. As long as that person agrees to take responsibility for your children after your demise, you can be sure that no one will mishandle their inheritance. You need, however, to be careful about who you choose as the guardian.
The dangling cherry on top is the use of the will to create testamentary trusts you may have set up for your children or pets. A testamentary trust if the kind of trust that comes to life through your will.
Consequences of lacking a will
In Delaware, the state intestacy laws take effect in the absence of a will and if facilitates the distribution of the decedent's (person without a will) estate. Under the state laws, the share of a decedent that goes to the surviving spouse is not automatic as it relies on whether the decedent has surviving children or parents. The only time that the spouse acquires the whole estate is in the absence of children or surviving parents. In the absence of a spouse, parents or children, siblings or other close relative inherit the property. Doesn't sound too encouraging and it doesn't know of or respect your wishes, right?
So, what do you need to create a last will and testament in Delaware? What makes this document valid?
Referred to as the testator, you must be 18 years or older, and, at the time of creating the will, you must be of sound mind. You have to sign the will, and you need a minimum of 2 witnesses to validate the will. You should name your heirs as well.
Also, the will must be in writing. Oral wills are unacceptable. However, holographic wills (the ones you write and sign with pen and paper) are valid as long as the handwriting is recognized as yours.
Keep in mind that the terms of your will should be approved by the probate court which could supervise the asset distribution process. However, the executor (the person you appoint to ensure your directives are followed through) has to pay off taxes and debt associated with the estate before distribution takes place.
Wondering which are the other types of wills out there?
In this will, a testator lists beneficiaries of assets, and there is not protective trust involved. This will work only if you don't have minor children (no need for a guardian or an irrevocable trust). It also applies if you don't have any adult kids who may be affected by creditors or a divorce.
A simple will works well also when you have a small estate and no estate planning for a blended family or a second marriage.
You could also use it if you don't have worries about a possible will challenge, you don't need to avoid probate, are of good health, and you don't have to plan for a special needs dependent.
This will has everything the simple will doesn't – no minor kids and no complicated families.
Besides what's stated under the simple will, the complex will is also essential if your business doesn't end after your death, if you want to keep assets within your family, and if you want to accumulate or shelter your assets through a trust. It also applies if you have a large estate and if you are on your second marriage or in a blended family.
It is the binding agreement created by to parties. The two sides will bind themselves by and to the promise that either party cannot change the whole or part of the will before both consent to the change.
So, which will meet your needs better? Get our Delaware last will and testament forms online to get started.