“What are the benefits of having a will?”
Having a will ensures that your estate will be divided among your loved ones according to the needs and circumstances which only you understand. You can also select a guardian for your minor children. Without a will, your assets will be divided and transfered based on the court’s decision, potentially in a manner which you would not have desired.
Your will can also spare your beneficiaries unnecessary expenses, by reducing the taxes and administration fees associated with their inheritances.
“Do I need a lawyer to prepare my will?”
Your will is valid as long as it is in writing and signed in the presence of two witnesses. The witnesses must not benefit from your will, and must sign the document in your presence.
However, in order to ensure that the results you desire will be carried out, it is best to have your will prepared by a qualified attorney. Your attorney can thoroughly examine your will for any inconsistencies, and can explain the details of your will to you. In addition, an attorney can ensure that your will abides by state laws, whereas a will “kit” is usually not state-specific.
“Who can leave a will?”
In the State of Connecticut, anyone over the age of 18 and in sound mind may make a will.
“Can a will be changed?”
Yes, a will can be changed at any time, as long as the testator is of sound mind. A new will can be drawn up or a codicil can be added to the existing will. The codicil can make minor additions or revocations, or it can completely change the existing will.
“How often and when should I review my will?”
You should review your will periodically to be sure it is still relevant. Always review your will after a major life event, such as marriage, birth, adoption, or winning the lottery.
“Does a will expire?”
No. Your will is legally binding no matter how old it is.