Types of the Last Will and Testament in New Hampshire
Dying without a will means one thing: the state declares your estate intestate by invoking the intestacy laws. In simpler terms, the state takes over the distribution of your property. Once this happens, none of your spoken wishes matter and your spouse or closest blood relatives inherit your estate even if you haven't been a close family.
A last will and testament refers to a legal instrument that communicates your wishes regarding asset distribution. With it, you get to name the persons you like or the deserving ones as the beneficiaries of your estate. The best part is that you have complete autonomy over who gets a piece of your estate and who does not.
Besides property distribution, the last will controls who gets guardianship for your minor children in your absence as well as the person who manages your estate, pay of taxes and debts before distributing your assets.
Being a legal instrument, the court recognizes it. As long as you meet the requirements that make a last will valid, your wishes will be observed however absurd they appear.
Do you need a last will when you have a living will?
Yes. These two documents hold your wishes for when you are unable to make decisions for yourself. However, the last will is only effectuated after your death because it holds directives on what you wish to happen to your assets and children upon your demise. On the other hand, the living will honors your directives while you are alive, often when you are incapacitated.
Conditions for the validity of a last will
As per the conditions of code section 551:1, et seq., the person creating the last will, the testator, should be at least 18 years and of sound mind. The will, often created from a free New Hampshire last will and testament form should be in writing although the state accepts oral or nuncupative laws if created by the mariners, military service persons, or seamen when at sea and when planning to dispose of their property. Handwritten wills are unacceptable.
Also, the testator has to sign the free last will and testament in New Hampshire in the presence of 2 or more witnesses. The witnesses to the signing of the will should not be beneficiaries of the estate.
After an individual passes away, the will should be filed with the probate court within 30 days after passing. After filing, the appointed executor gets the official rights to oversee the management and eventually the distribution of assets. Note that the state requires the estate to remain open for a minimum of 6 months after a testator's demise to give creditors time to make their claims against the estate.
Also, the state provides an alternative summary distribution of assets, as well as a waiver of the administration process in place of the comprehensive probate process when you need to speed up the asset distribution process.
Types of Wills
Since you can use the will for almost anything, from child protection asset distribution to asset protection and setting up of trusts, you will come across varying types of wills. Leading types of wills include:
Though it isn't as simple as it sounds, this will shows that all your assets are inherited outright by your named beneficiaries, and you do not create a protective trust for your assets or even kids.
Simple wills come in handy if you do not have minor children requiring guardianship or the setting up of an irrevocable testamentary trust. You could also use it if you don’t have any adult children who could be affected by a divorce or creditors, if your estate is small, or if you are not worried about a will challenge.
You could also execute a simple will if you have no estate planning for a second marriage or a blended family, if you don’t want to avoid the probate process, or if you don’t have Alzheimer's or dementia. It also applies to persons with no need for plans around special needs dependents.
This will is the opposite of the simple will. It meets your requirements when you need to set up a trust to protect your kids, assets, or spouse.
If you have minor kids, you could use this will to create an irrevocable trust and to name a guardian for them. You could also use it for business succession planning, setting up a special needs trust, keeping assets in the family using a dynasty trust, or to shelter those assets for your spouse in a disclaimer trust.
The complex will also comes in handy when you have a large estate that requires tax planning or when you need to accumulate your assets. Lastly, consider this will if you have a blended family or a second marriage.
Without a will, the state decides what happens to your estate. In New Hampshire, your surviving spouse inherits the entire estate unless you share kids with the spouse where the spouse will inherit the first $250,000 from the estate and half of what remains.
However, if you have kids from another relationship, the proportions change. With no kids in the picture, your parents are entitled to the estate, so they share it with the spouse.
With no spouse, kids or parents, your closest relatives inherit the estate, often siblings and grandparents.
Do you live in Concord, Manchester, Portsmouth, Nashua, Salem, Rochester, or any other city of New Hampshire? Wherever you are, you could get our free last will and testament forms online today. Get started now to protect your legacy.