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Everything You Need to Know About the Free Last Will and Testament in Washington
A last will and testament refers to the legally-recognized instrument which declares or communicates you after-life wishes regarding the distribution of your assets and if you have kids, their care. For most people, the last will represents a document that determines how you wish to have your property distributed, but as you will find out in this document, there is a lot more the document can do.
But first, how is the last will and testament different from the living will?
As mentioned above, the last will represents your wishes after death. In contrast, the living will represents you living wishes; specifically the health measures you’d like taken in the event of mental or physical incapacitation.
So, what more can the last will do?
First, it helps you to appoint an executor. An executor is a person who you trust to ensure that your wishes are respected and acted upon. The leading roles of the executor include filing the last will with the probate court in the town or county you resided in as well as the management of your estate. By management, we mean paying off debts and debts. Once the affairs of the estate are in order, the executor can distribute the assets as directed in the will.
Secondly, you could use the will to name a guardian or the guardians for your children so that they are well cared for if you pass away when they are minors. The guardian, often referred to as the godparent must accept the role and they will only take on the role legally if you put down their name in the will. If you are afraid that one guardian won’t be enough, you may want to name a successor.
Other than your kids, you could also appoint a guardian to ensure the care of an adult dependent with special needs. Again, it is advisable to seek their approval of the prospective guardian before putting down their name in the free last will and testament in Washington.
Thirdly, you need a last will and testament to name your beneficiaries. The thing is; if you leave the power to distribute your estate with the state, the only persons who are entitled to your inheritance are your closest relatives (kids, parents, spouse, siblings or grandparents, aunts and uncles) and in the absence of blood relatives, your estate reverts to the state. That means that your friend who is more than family will not receive anything even though that is what you’d like. Also, you cannot protect your pet or donate to charity if that is what you had in mind.
Lastly, you need a last will created by a lawyer or created from a free Washington last will and testament form to protect assets by creating irrevocable testamentary trusts. These trusts vary, but the most common ones include the pet trust, the education trust, dynasty trust, credit shelter trust, or a disclaimer trust. You could also set up a special needs trust for a dependent requiring continuous and specialized care.
To top it all; the last will is your best friend when trying to keep the business in the family, to create a business succession plan, or to address issues around estate planning for blended families or families from second marriages.
Primary aspects of the last will and testament form in Washington
As per the provisions of code section 11.12.010, et seq., the creator of the last will (the testator) must be an adult of sound mind who must sign the will. If they are unable to sign the will, the testator could ask someone else to sign the will for them but following the directions of the testator and in the presence of the testator.
Whether the testator signs the will of they have someone else do it, signing should take place in the presence of two witnesses who must be adults. The witnesses cannot be listed as beneficiaries.
As mentioned above, the last will must have a list of beneficiaries as well as the allocated size of the estate or the bequeathed gift.
The next important thing is to know that the state considered written wills the formal structure for wills although it recognizes oral wills in special circumstances.
Note that the property for distribution does not include joint tenancy property, community property, share of the spouse’s or partner’s assets if entitled to by marriage and the shares of the child born after the will’s execution.
Changing your will
You can change your will using a codicil. A codicil refers to an amendment of the will which requires execution in the same way as the original will.
Revoking your will
You can revoke the powers of your will at any time by either executing a subsequent last will or destroying the will.
Intestacy is the asset distribution process for individuals who die without a will. Once these laws are in effect, the state rules as follows:
The surviving spouse or the registered domestic partner will inherit the entire estate unless the couple shares kids in which case, the estate is shared in two equal parts. If there are no kids involved, the estate is shared between the domestic partner/ spouse and the decedent’s parents. Parents are entitled to 1/4 of your separate property. However, without kids, domestic partner, a spouse, or parents, your closest relatives inherit the estate (siblings and grandparents).
Would you like to draft a will today in a city located in the state of Washington? How about our free last will and testament forms downloadable online from wherever you are?