When Should You Write Your Last Will and Testament in Rhode Island?
A last will and testament refers to the legal document you need to declare who inherits what from your estate upon your death. Primarily, the last will shows what you’d like your children, parents, and spouse to inherit. However, creating will gives you complete volitions hence the reason why we hear of people giving out entire estates to charity, and the ones with weird requirements to be done after death. The last will also gives you the freedom to create a kitty or trust for the protection of your pet.
While this is the standard thinking for most of us, there is a lot more the will can cater for. By creating a complex will, you could name a guardian for your minor kids, create a trust to accumulate wealth, say an education trust. Or, you could use it to shelf the assets inherited by your spouse from creditors.
There's more; you can use the will to set up a business succession plan for the business, tax protection for large estates, or the care of special needs kids. At the same time, you can use the will to address the issue of a second marriage or a blended family and how all the parties get their share of the property.
All the trusts created with wills are testamentary trusts, and they are irrevocable. So, if you are looking for a way of keeping your assets in the family, you may want to set up a dynasty trust.
How do you create a last will and testament?
First of all, you can create a will by yourself and without paying a lawyer. All you need is a free Rhode Island last will and testament form easily downloadable. For validity, you must at least 18 years as per the provisions of code section 33-5-2, et seq. You have to be of sound mind, and you must sign the will. It should be in writing, and if you are unable to sign it, you could ask someone you trust to sign it in your presence and by your express direction.
Two or more witnesses must sign the will, and you have to list your preferred beneficiaries?
A free last will and testament in Rhode Island will is only valid after the person you appoint as the executor files the will with the probate court in the city or the town that the decedent (Deceased) lived. The executor will oversee the management of the estate and the distribution of your assets only after the probate court validates the will. Some of the managerial roles of the executor include paying debts, taxes and finally distributing assets.
Is it time to create a will?
While there is no specific time when you will be required to create a will (unless you are ill and afraid of what may happen), there are events in life that prompt you to create a will. The events below should prompt you to get started. Note that even if it feels too early and you are not sure about some things, you can go ahead and prepare the will then amend or revoke it later.
Getting Kids or when your kids become adults.
If you have kids, then you know that your primary role is to take care of the well-being. Creating a will represents one of the best ways of expressing love to kids. In the will, you may want to specify who gets what even though they will inherit your estate even if you die without a will. But don’t take that chance because the laws may not reflect how much of your estate you want to go to the kids.
You also need to create or amend a will to name the guardian for the minor kids if you and your spouse pass on at the same time. Also, note that your wishes for your child may change as they grow older.
Getting married, remarried, or divorced
The changes in your relationship should give you a nudge to draft a new will or to amend the original one. Why? The change in your relationship status changes who you name as the beneficiary to your estate. In case of blended families or the encore marriages, you will realize that your estate planning needs are unique. To prevent family feuds, you should consider putting all the right things in the will when you have the time.
When starting a business
To keep the business in the family, you ought to indicate who you want to inherit and run the business in your absence. You also need to name the co-owners and the succession plans you have set in place for your business. The succession plan gives the details of who takes over the management of the business and its ownership interests after your demise.
The need to protect your assets
Do you have a large estate and you wish to protect it from heavy taxation? Create a credit shelter trust using the will. If you want to accumulate your assets, you may want to use the will to set up an education trust, or a dynasty trust to keep assets in the family.
Keep the state away.
We hope this is enough motivation – if you don’t create a will, the state will invoke intestacy laws to oversee the distribution of your assets. Under these laws, the surviving spouse will inherit as much as $75,000 of the real estate as well as the rights to use the estate for life. The spouse will also get $50,000 of the personal property, as well as half the estate. But if you leave kids behind, the estate is divided in half, and the spouse and the kids get half.
Siblings and grandparents will be next in line to inherit the estate in the absence of a surviving spouse, kids, or parents.
Are you convinced that you need the last will? Whether you reside in Providence, Warwick, Newport, Cranston, Westerly, Narragansett, or any other city, you can download our free last will and testament form to get started.