Will is a legal document that intends to declare how one wants their personal belongings, properties, and assets to be distributed and to whom after their demise. A will includes information about the beneficiaries and the name of the executor who is responsible for executing the instructions written in the choice. The executor mentioned in the will is also responsible for managing the assets and taking care of them until they’re distributed. So, let’s figure out how long a choice is valid after death in the probate process.
The executor is supposed to be someone who acts impartially and has to act in the best interest of the beneficiaries. A will can be prepared by any person 18 years old and above, given that this person is of sound mind and has no undue pressure on him or is not fraud or coerced into making a will. One can also take the help of an attorney specializing in estate planning to make a will and name him as the executor.
A will goes through the probate process under the probate court to become a valid will after death.
Benefits of Drafting a will after death in the probate process
There are lots of benefits to drafting a will.
- It provides the person drafting the will, the Testator, a sense of understanding of his current financial strength. It thus can help you provide financial security for your family or loved ones.
- It can help you as a testator to have a sense of peace as you can choose how your assets are distributed and to whom after your death.
- A will helps a person to gather all information about his assets and inventory.
- One can avoid family disputes in the future by rationally distributing the assets.
- It helps you to disinherit certain members who you dislike.
- Helps address online and offshore accounts, including financial investments made by you.
- With the help of a will, you can choose a guardian for your minor children or make provisions for them and any pets you have.
- You can choose the executor of your will.
- A will makes the process much easier and helps your loved ones by preventing financial and legal grief.
- A will can refer to as the first step toward estate planning.
For How long a will is Valid after the death of the Testator in the probate process, as per the estate planning attorney
When you draft and write a will given, you are an adult, without any external pressure, of sound mind, and have covered all the legal requirements to create a valid will. It becomes executed as soon as you sign it.
This will be good for an indefinite period and will consider valid throughout unless you revoke or change it. Although a will only become old with time and is always valid once signed, being old might mean some parts or certain parts of the choice may not take place due to changes in the Testator’s life.
One needs to make regular checks and update their will. These changes can include divorce, change in relationship with particular beneficiaries, etc. You should update your will so that the choice represents your most recent wishes when you pass away. You can only revoke a will.
For revoking a will
The person who wrote the will needs to do the following things
- They need to destroy the will physically.
- This can include tearing up or destroying the original copy of the will with fire.
- The Testator can also revoke a will by drafting a new will by mentioning that he has withdrawn the earlier will. In addition, he can create documents that mention that revocation.
- Another way to revoke an older will is to form a contradictory new will.
- A court will follow the instructions in the newer will. Therefore, the contents of the older will have deemed invalid if they conflict.
- Only the person who created the will can revoke the will. No one else, not the executor and beneficiaries, can make changes or revoke a will.
- You may need a witness if there is any doubt about who crossed out the will and who revoked it.
After a person dies, the court will consider the latest will that draft as the official document to check for validity. After validation, the probate proceeds with the probate process, and the executor has to execute the instructions in the will. Legally for a will to be, it must be probated within five years of the Testator’s death.
In this article, you will learn about wills and how long a will is valid after death in the probate process.