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Publisher: Nolo Press , This specific ISBN edition is currently not available. View all copies of this ISBN edition:. Synopsis About this title A book that allows most adult Americans to safely and privately prepare a legal will.
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Buy New Learn more about this copy. And if you don't have guidance -- from a good self-help resource or a good lawyer -- it's easy to write something that turns out to be ambiguous or even contrary to what you intended. If both parents of a child die or become otherwise unable to care for a minor child, another adult -- called a "personal guardian" -- must step in.
The personal guardian will be responsible for raising your children until they become legal adults. You and the child's other parent can use your wills to nominate someone to fill this position. To avert conflicts, you should both name the same person. You can choose that same guardian to manage property that you leave to your minor children or you can name someone different. You can name a "property guardian," a "custodian", or a "trustee" to manage the property:. Disinheriting spouses.
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- Wills and Estate Planning Subject Guide.
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The law protects surviving spouses from being left with nothing. If you live in a community property state Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, or Wisconsin -- or Alaska if you have made a written community property agreement , your spouse automatically owns half of all the property and earnings with a few exceptions acquired by either of you during your marriage.
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You can leave your half of the community property, and your separate property, to anyone you choose. In all other states, a surviving spouse has a legal right to claim a portion of your estate, no matter what your will provides. But these provisions kick in only if your spouse goes to court and claims that share. If you don't plan to leave at least half of your property to your spouse, either through your will or outside it, you should consult a lawyer -- unless your spouse willingly consents in writing to your plan.
Disinheriting children. Generally, it's perfectly legal to disinherit a child. If, however, it appears that you didn't mean to disinherit a child -- the most common example is a child born after you made your will -- then the child has the right to claim part of your property. Very few wills are ever challenged in court. When they are, it's usually by a close relative who feels somehow cheated out of a share of the deceased person's property.
Nolo's Simple Will Book: How to Prepare a Legally Valid Will
To get an entire will invalidated, someone must go to court and prove that it suffers from a fatal flaw: the signature was forged, you weren't of sound mind when you made the will, or you were unduly influenced by someone. Nolo offers several products to help you make your will. Which one you should use depends on the size of your estate, how you want to leave your property, and whether you prefer to use software or a good old-fashioned book. Quicken Will Maker Plus is ideal for nearly any size estate and almost any estate plan.
Use this product if you are comfortable using computer software and if you also need other estate planning documents, such as trusts, health care directives, or powers of attorney -- Willmaker comes with all of those as well as many other useful forms. Nolo's Simple Will Book allows you to customize a will to your circumstances and is appropriate for those with small to moderately sized estates and simple estate planning goals. The Quick and Legal Will Book is best if you have a small estate, if you have simple estate planning goals, and if you prefer to use a book with word processing documents on CD-ROM.
The Quick and Legal Will Book offers a choice of five basic will forms.
Our firm concentrates in the areas of elder law, estate planning, estate administration and litigation, disability planning and health care facility representation. We are proud to have been recognized for our innovative strategies, creative techniques and unparalleled negotiating skills unendingly driven toward our paramount objective - satisfying the needs of our clients. What you need to know about the most basic estate planning document What's Below: What happens if I die without a will?
Beyond that, there are just a few technical requirements a will must fulfill: The will must be signed by at least two, or in Vermont, three, witnesses. The witnesses must watch you sign the will, though they don't need to read it. Your witnesses, in most states, must be people who won't inherit anything under the will.
If your state allows "holographic" wills, you don't need witnesses. You must date and sign the will. You can name a "property guardian," a "custodian", or a "trustee" to manage the property: Name a property guardian. You can simply name a property guardian to manage whatever property the child inherits, if there's no other mechanism a trust, for example to handle it.
The guardian will manage the property until the child reaches the age of In every state except South Carolina and Vermont, you can choose a custodian to manage property you are leaving to a child.