A will has been the traditional standard for handing off your worldly possessions to family and close friends. If you are like most people of a certain age, you probably have a will already made, signed and sealed by an estate attorney. However, you may want to preserve and protect some of your wealth from less wise inheritors or from government agencies that might try to take a piece of it after you pass. There is one sure-fire way to accomplish all of these goals, and it is called a living will.
Living Wills vs. Traditional Wills
Traditional wills disperse your wealth and goods after you have passed away, but a living will disperses some or all of your wealth while you are still alive. Hence the name “living will.” Some people decide to create a living will for the reasons mentioned above, but you may also construct and enact a living will when you want to see the joy your gifts give to others. Whatever your personal or financial reasons for making a living will, it removes any guesswork and/or legal disputes about your bestowments after your death and while you’re living.
Why You Need a Lawyer for a Living Will
You may be deciding whether hiring an attorney is applicable for your living will because it is not legally required to draft one, but there are many reasons not hiring a lawyer can make you and your family vulnerable. Consider the following when determining whether you want to hire an attorney:
- A lawyer will create an official and airtight document without the potential for loopholes that a personally created or template living will may leave open to interpretation.
- Your lawyer can act as your notary to ensure the document is legally applicable. If you simply sign the will without having it notarized, it may not withstand scrutiny in court.
- A lawyer can also provide witnesses if you cannot find your own or none are available at the time of the signing.
- The attorney will handle the paperwork and will file your living will with the local county, state, and federal agencies (if applicable) so that no government agency can contest your will’s validity.
In addition to working with an attorney, you should share some of the contents of your will with your beneficiaries and inheritors as they will need to pay taxes on the gifts you allot.
Choosing BCN Law Firm
BCN Law Firm has been in the business of living and traditional will construction and execution for many years. Every attorney here is a certified notary public and can help you create either a living or traditional will to fulfill your final wishes, whether you are still alive or after you have gone. We can also answer any questions you have about trusts, foreign bank accounts, wealth dispersal (which can get quite complicated without an attorney), and probate law. If you have a traditional will and you wish to convert it to a living will, BCN Law Firm can help you do that too. Call us today at (352) 394-2103 to schedule a free consultation* to talk with an expert attorney about your estate and end-of-life affairs, as well as how you can customize your will to suit your needs.