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Who is a Guardian in a Will?

Who is a Guardian in a Will?

If you have young children, you may have wondered who would care for them in the unlikely event that you were unable to. Although this is a tough notion to ponder over, it is an important decision that you should make if you would like to have a say on who cares for your children so they receive the support they need if something were to happen to you and the other parent. Determining a backup guardian for your child or children in case something happens to you and the other parent is usually done in a will

A guardian named in a will becomes responsible for the well-being of the child, including physical care, health, education, and welfare until he or she reaches the legal age of adulthood. The guardian is responsible for food, shelter, medical care, and the education for the child. With all these responsibilities, it is important to choose a guardian in your will that you trust the most and would be able to provide the best care and support for your child. In most cases, the guardian is not obligated to pay for a child's financial needs with his or her own money. The executor handles those arrangements with money that is received from the probate process.

In almost all cases, if the child or children's other parent survives you, the child or children will automatically assume guardianship responsibility. But, there is always the possibility that the other parent may not be available to assume that role for the child or children. Family members or close trusted friends are probably the best choice as a backup guardian. It is also possible to name co-guardianship for your child or children, although this can be grounds for future complications involving custody if the two decide to separate in the future. 

What factors should you consider when choosing a personal guardian for your child or children?

Is your choice for guardianship old enough to care for children? He or she must be an adult whom is 18 years or older.

Does he or she have a genuine concern about the well-being of your child or children?

Does he or she have children of similar age to your child or children? If so, this can be a good way to tell that the prospective parent is capable of raising children and your child or children will have plenty of company and companionship.

Does he or she have time to raise a child? You would not want to leave your child or children with someone that may neglect them.

Does the prospective parents have a similar moral structure to your own? You may want to give guardianship to someone with similar moral beliefs for the welfare of your child or children.

How many assets can you provide to your children when you give them new guardianship? If it is not enough, can the new guardians afford to give what is missing?

If you are having a hard time choosing a new guardian in your will, you may want to interview different people you are considering to determine for sure if he or she is a good choice. Make sure they are willing to accept responsibility for the child or children if something were to happen to you.

Creating A Will At A Glance

Creating A Will At A Glance

In general, people who are faced with the task of drawing up a will are recommended to do so as soon as they are in the possession of some kind of property asset as well as in relationship to some kind of familial relation or loved one, such as a spouse or a child. To this end, it has been found that nearly 50% of Americans die without having created a will that could have chosen to have done so. 
Given that the necessity of drawing up wills, by definition, cannot be wholly planned for, all parents have been recommended to draw up a will, as can pertain for their children being optimally provided with their property assets. Moreover, any form of danger which may affect the individual drawing up the will, as might arise from that individual’s profession, from pre-existing health conditions, or from any other cause, should be regarded as an incentive to creating wills.

Steps for Writing a Will:

Steps for Writing a Will:

What is a Will?
A will is a legal declaration by which an individual, known as a testator, names one or more persons to manage his/her property at the time of death. The testator, through the construction of a will, provides explicit instructions on how to transfer their estate once they pass away.
What is Required in My Will?

Any individual over the age of majority (typically 18, although may vary based on state law) and of sound mind (exhibits appropriate mental capacity) can draft their own will with or without the aid of a legal aid. Additional requirements will vary depending on the individual’s jurisdiction, but generally the following conditions must be met:
·         The testator is required to clearly identify him or herself as the creator of the will. Additionally, the testator must declare that the will is being made for the purpose of providing instructions regarding the distribution of their estate—the creator of the will must declare their intentions when constructing the legal document. This process is referred to as “publication” and is satisfied by simply writing the words “last will and testament” on the face of the document.
·         The testator must declare that he or she revokes any previous wills and codicils. If they do not denounce, the present will only revokes the inconsistencies found in the previous wills and codicils.
·         The testator is required to demonstrate that he or she has the mental capacity to dispose of their property and is willing to do so. The testator must sign and date the will, typically in the presence of at least two disinterested witnesses (people who are not beneficiaries).
Step by Step Process to Writing a Will:

A will can be written on a plain piece of paper; it is suggested that you write your will on a computer so that you can amend it whenever you wish. The first step to writing a will requires you to title the document. Typically the title will read: “Last Will and Testament.”
After you have titled the document, the next step to writing a will requires you to state you full name and address with a formal declaration that states the following:
·         You must declare that you are of legal age (age of majority) to construct the will and are of sound mind and memory to provide transfer instructions
·         You must declare that your will revokes all previously made wills and codicils
·         You must declare that you are not under duress or under the influence of any substance or anyone to make the will.
The next step to writing a will requires you to name an executor. The majority of testators will name their remaining spouse or a close family member (main beneficiaries) as the executor. During this step you should also name an alternate executor; if you do not name executor(s) the court system will appoint one for a fee. It is the responsibility of the executor—once probate has been granted—to fulfill all payments owed by the estate (funeral costs, taxes and debts) and thereafter to distribute the remaining assets to the beneficiaries as specified in the will.
The 4th step to writing a will requires you to name a guardian for your minor children. If your children are young enough where they require guardianship and there is no remaining parent to take care of them, you must name a legal guardian in your will.
The next portion of writing a will entails providing details of your beneficiaries. Name all of your beneficiaries (spouse, children etc.) and your relationship with each. Once your beneficiaries are named provide the assets they are entitled to. The assets listed in the will are separate from estate assets that may have been already assigned to your beneficiaries.
 If you wish to transfer specific property or monies to a beneficiary, you must, under the heading “Bequests”, list the names of the persons or organizations and the assets they are scheduled to receive. Apart from the items listed in the above section, you must write “I bequeath the remainder of my assets to {Name of person or organization}.
After you have named your beneficiaries–and their attached assets–you can express your wishes on whether to be buried, cremated or have your remains disposed of in another way, so long as they comply with laws in your state and country.
Once this information has been fulfilled, you must sign the will in the presence of witnesses—uninterested parties must witness the fact that you are the signatory of the bill. The date and place of the signing must be recorded. A minimum of two witnesses is needed; their full names, addresses and signatures must be on the document.
An import note to acknowledge when writing a will is that all paragraphs must be numbered–and depending on your state– the will must be notarized.

Last Will And Testament Free Template

Last Will And Testament Free Template

A Last Will and Testament is one of the most important documents one can create in their life. It outlines how a person’s assets are to be distributed after their death, as well as making other important decisions, such as who will be the guardians of minor children. In order to ensure that your wishes are carried out, it is crucial that your Last Will and Testament is carefully crafted. This article will discuss what a typical Last Will and Testament sample should include.

1. Introduction and Declaration

The first section of a Last Will and Testament usually includes an introduction and declaration of intent. This section will state that the document is a Last Will and Testament and that the person creating it (the testator) is of legal age, sound mind, and under no undue influence. The introduction will also typically state the testator’s full name, address, and other identifying details.

2. Appointment of Executor

The appointment of an executor is one of the most important decisions you can make when creating a Last Will and Testament. The executor is responsible for managing and distributing your assets according to your wishes. It is important to choose someone who is responsible and trustworthy, as the role of executor can be complex and time-consuming.

In this section, the testator should state who they are appointing as the executor of their estate. It is important to include the full name and contact information of the individual, as well as any specific instructions or limitations on their authority.

3. Bequests

The bequests section of a Last Will and Testament outlines how your assets are to be distributed. This section should include specific details regarding who is to receive what and any conditions or restrictions that may apply. Bequests can include a variety of assets, such as property, financial accounts, and personal belongings.

It is important to be as specific as possible when outlining bequests to avoid any confusion or disputes among beneficiaries. If there are any special circumstances or conditions that apply to a bequest, such as a gift that is contingent on a specific event taking place, this should also be included in the document.

4. Residual Clause

The residual clause is one of the most important components of a Last Will and Testament sample. This clause outlines what is to be done with any remaining assets that have not been specifically bequeathed in the document. For example, if a bequest is made to a family member who predeceases the testator, the residual clause will ensure that the assets are distributed to the appropriate parties.

It is important to be specific in the residual clause, as it will ensure that any remaining assets are distributed according to the testator’s wishes. In addition to outlining how assets are to be distributed, the residual clause should also include any instructions regarding taxes, debts, and other financial matters that may arise after the testator’s death.

5. Guardianship of Minor Children

If you have minor children, it is important to designate a legal guardian in the event of your death. This section of the Last Will and Testament sample should outline who is to be appointed as the guardian(s) of any minor children or dependents.

It is important to discuss this decision with the designated guardian(s) beforehand and ensure that they are willing to take on the responsibility. It is also important to revisit this section periodically and update it as necessary, especially if there are any changes in circumstances or if new children are born.

6. Trusts

In some cases, it may be necessary or beneficial to create a trust in conjunction with a Last Will and Testament. For example, if a person has a disabled or special needs family member, a trust can be created to ensure that the individual’s financial needs are met after the testator’s death.

If a trust is to be created, this section of the Last Will and Testament sample should outline the details of the trust, including the terms and conditions, the trustee(s), and the beneficiaries.

7. Signatures and Witnesses

In order to be legally binding, a Last Will and Testament must be signed and witnessed by appropriate parties. In most cases, the testator will sign the document in the presence of two or more witnesses. The witnesses will then sign the document, attesting to the fact that they witnessed the document being signed.

It is important to choose appropriate witnesses who are not beneficiaries of the will and who are of legal age and sound mind. The Last Will and Testament sample should include a section for signatures and witnesses to ensure that the document is executed properly.


In order for a Last Will and Testament to be effective, it must be carefully crafted and legally binding. The above sections are typically included in a typical Last Will and Testament sample and should be tailored to reflect the individual’s personal circumstances and wishes. It is important to seek the guidance of an experienced attorney to ensure that your Last Will and Testament is legally valid and accurately reflects your wishes.

What Happens When There is No Will or a Lost Will?

What Happens When There is No Will or a Lost Will?

When a person dies without a will, this is known as dying “intestate.” If this occurs, his or her property is put through a probate process in which the property is given to the heirs determined by the law. After a person dies, the probate court appoints a personal representative, also known as an administrator to take all claims against the estate, pay off debt, and then distribute the property that remains to heirs based on state probate laws.
When a person dies testate, or with a will, the estate is divided in accordance to the deceased person’s wishes specified in the will. An intestate estate is distributed to beneficiaries based on the law set forth by the state in which the deceased owned property. If, for example, a person dies but he or she owned property in more than one state, then there will be several estate divisions based on more than one rule. In addition an intestate probate process is generally more expensive than probating an estate with a will. Usually, the cost of the court procedure is taken out of the value of the property the heirs inherit.
While the state laws pertaining to property distribution vary from state to state, the differences are usually subtle, but can deliver a vastly different result to a deceased person’s heirs. Most state laws divide property among the surviving spouse and the children of the deceased. If there is no spouse, then only the children would get the estate. The value of the estate is usually divided among the children equally.
To give an idea about what state provisions may look like, the following are distribution procedures for the probate process without a will in the state of California:
If married, the spouse receives 100 percent of the community property, but one third of the separate property left. The children receive a portion of this distribution as well.
If the deceased was unmarried (widows and widowers included) the property is distributed to relatives with the following priorities:
If there are any, all to children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren.
All to parents, divided among them equally.
All to the issue of parents, including brothers and sisters, and then nieces and nephews.
All grandparents, spread among them equally. Also, the issue of grandparents, including aunts, uncles, and then cousins.
All to the issue of predeceased spouse. This includes step-children.
All to the next of kin.
All to the parents of a predeceased spouse, including mother and father-in-law.
Also, the issue of them, including brother and sister-in-laws.
All to the state.
In some instances, if a person with a will dies, a will may go missing. A lost will can bring up many interesting legal issues, depending on the state in which the deceased resided.
The reason why a will may go missing is because the deceased had intentionally revoked it without others knowing. If this has been done, an earlier version of the will is then used as the guideline in the probate proceeding. If there is no earlier will, the state in which the property was owned will divide assets based on state law. 
Also, there may be a lost will if it is determined that the lost will was destroyed in an explosion or fire, usually in a bank vault. In this case, the original copy of the lost will does not have to be used. A photocopy of the will can be used in probate court instead if approved by a judge. 
In many circumstances, a lost will may usually mean that the deceased may have created a new version of the will. 

Use a Will Writing Service

Use a Will Writing Service

Will writing services can be found online or they may be utilized in person. In either case, will writing services can assist individuals with writing their will in order to be sure that it  contains all of the necessary clauses, such as naming an executor of the will. In addition, a will writing service can help to be sure that the document will likely be held legally valid by the courts.
A will writing service will first explain the clauses that are necessary in a will. They will also explain any tax implications, especially for larger estates. These issues are important and individuals should be certain that they select will writing services that have experience and are reputable. It is important that the individual trusts those that are assisting them in writing their will.
However, when using a will writing service, individuals should be sure that the writing of the will is witnesses by at least two people that are not in the will. Witnesses can be vital if there is ever a question of legality of the will. 
For example, witnesses can attest to the fact the the benefactor did in fact write the will.Witnesses can also explain the benefactors state of mind when they wrote the will. These key facts are vital if there is ever a challenge to the will and for that reason, the writing of the will may also be video taped.

How to Write a Will

How to Write a WillWriting a will is an important step in ensuring that an individuals wishes will be followed after death. Writing a will may take a lot of research and can be time intensive, even with legal assistance. However, in order to be sure that the document will be upheld by the courts, the time and attention to detail is necessary.

When and individual has decided to write a will, they should first conduct research on the laws in their state. For example, some states have a larger inheritance tax than others and those taxes increase as the amount of inheritance increases. The amount of inheritance should be considered carefully, as to avoid have a large portion of that inheritance go to taxes.

In addition to inheritance tax laws, there are also estate taxes which may apply on the state and federal level. In order to make a will that is not subjected to excessive inheritance tax, individuals may wish to make a charitable donation to lower the value of the estate before it is distributed.

When and individual has decided to make a will, it is best to conduct research, even if they plan to use legal services when writing the will. By being prepared with extensive knowledge, individuals are likely to experience less stress and be able to think more clearly when making important decisions.

Last Will and Testament

Last Will and Testament


John Smith

Sarah Smith




$5 million cash

$12 million in a Bank of America savings account

$3 million in a Chase savings account

1989 BMW

Real property at 27 fast foot avenue, Claptontown, GA



ming vase in bedroom


Now that all of the beneficiaries, heirs and assets of the testator are accounted for the will is ready to be written with the named beneficiaries being placed with specific or general bequests.




[Name of Testator]


I John Smith, domiciled in Anytown, New York, being of sound mind and body and over the age of eighteen (18) years, and not being under any duress, menace, fraud, mistake, or undue influence, do hereby make, publish and declare the following to be my Last Will and Testament, revoking all previous will and codicils made by me.




I declare that I am married to Maggie Smith, and all references in this Will to my wife are references to Maggie Smith. 

I have the following children:

Name: Sam Smith   Birth Date  :June 28, 2001

Name: Deborah Smith  Birth Date:  February 26, 1992


II.  EXECUTOR:  I appoint Steven Foster as Executor of my Last Will and Testament. If Steven Foster is unable or unwilling to serve, then I appoint Dough Yochim as alternate Executor.

My Executor shall be authorized to carry out all provisions of this Will and pay all of my debts, obligations and funeral expenses.



I will give the persons named below, if he or she survives me, the Property described below:

Name: Steven and Beth Foster

Address: 21 scottsdale lane, Chicago, IL

Relationship: Sister and Brother in law

Property: $5 million from my Bank of America savings account

Caveat: in the event that Beth becomes a widower or is divorced fromSteven Smith at the time of my death the entire $5 million will go to my sister beth smith in her individual capacity.

Name:  John and Sarah Smith

Address: 24 Windy Bush Lane, Camden, NJ

Relationship: Brother and sister in law

Property: $3 million from my Chase savings account

Caveat:  In the event that my brother John Smith is divorced or widowed from Sarah Smith the entire amount of $3 million will be divided 50% to my brother John Smith and the remaining 50% will to to the children of my brother John Smith.  If my brother john smith predeceases me and is not survived by any issue then the $3 million will be go to my friend David Yochim residing, in 2011, at 56 ferret way, Bridgewater, NJ.

Name: Joe Dmochowski

Address: 56 Lawrence Ave., Malverne, NY

Relationship: Friend

Property: All vehicles titled in my name at my death, including: automobiles, motorcylces, bicycles, airplanes, boats, or any other item that me be deemed as a transportation device

Name:  Maggie Smith

Address:  212 Shakedown Street, Anytown, New York

Relationship:  wife

Property:  To my wife, Maggie Smith, I leave all of my real property, including the property at 27 fast foot avenue, Claptontown, GA.  In the event that the property no longer exists then the proceeds from the sale shall be given to my wife, Maggie Smith.  I also devise $7 million from my Bank of America savings account to my wife, Maggie Smith.

Caveat:  In the event that Maggie Smith predeceases me or she is no longer my wife, through divorce, etc., then the bequest of $7 million dollars shall go to my friend Doug Yochim located, in 2011, at 1115 Adams St., Jersey City, NJ.  The residence at 27 slow hand avenue, Claptontown, GA shall be devised to all my children who are then living at the time of my death.

All other property not specifically devised herein shall become be collected and sold with the proceeds being divided, in equal shares to:  Frank Smith, Wilma Smith, Peter Crawford, Doug Yochim, Joe Dmochowski, Sam Foster, Beth foster and Deborah Foster.


IV.  ADDITIONAL POWERS OF THE EXECUTOR:  My Executor shall have the following additional powers with respect to my estate, to be exercised from time to time at my Executor's discretion without further license or order of any court.  My executor shall, in the event of my incapacity, my power of attorney, and have the authority to dispense with my property in the best way possible to satisfy my debts including mortgages, credit cards, medical expenses, etc.


V.  OPTIONAL PROVISIONS:  I have placed my initials next to the provisions below that I adopt as part of this Will. Any unmarked provision is not adopted by me and is not a part of this Will.


________  If any beneficiary to this Will is indebted to me at the time of my death, and the beneficiary evidences this debt by a valid Promissory Note payable to me, then such person's portion of my estate shall be diminished by the amount of such debt.

________  Any and all debts of my estate shall first be paid from my residuary estate. Any debts on any real property bequeathed in this Will shall be assumed by the person to receive such real property and not paid by my Executor.

 ________  I direct that my remains be cremated and that the ashes be disposed of according to the wishes of my Executor.

 ________  I direct that my remains be cremated and that the ashes be disposed of in the following manner:


VII.  PAYING OF DEBTS  In the event that I have outstanding debts at the time of my death I hereby authorize the selling of my assets in the following order to satisfy those expenses:  cash, $1 million from both my chase and Bank of America account in equal amounts, personal property bequethed to non-family members, the home at 27 fast foot avenue.


VI.  SEVERABILITY AND SURVIVAL If any portion of my will shall be held illegal, invalid or otherwise inoperative, it is my intention at ll of the other provisions hereof shall continue to be fully effective and operative insofar as is possible and reasonable.


VII.  NO-CONTEST CLAUSE Any individual who disputes this will may contest a bequest based on any factor that would make the bequest invalid by New York law.  If the court finds against the contesting party then his or her share of my bequest shall be eliminated and go into the residuary of my estate.


IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I, Steven Smith, hereby set my hand to this last Will, on each page of which I have placed my initials, on this ________ day of ____________________, 20______ at _____________________________________________________________, State of [State].


__________ [Signature]

__________ [Printed or typed name of Testator]

__________ [Address of Testator, Line 1]

__________ [Address of Testator, Line 2]



The foregoing instrument, consisting of ________ pages, including this page, was signed in our presence by _______________________________________ [name of Testator] and declared by _________________ [him or her] to be _________________ [his or her] last Will.  We, at the request and in the presence of _________________ [him or her] and in the presence of each other, have subscribed our names below as witnesses.  We declare that we are of sound mind and of the proper age to witness a will, that to the best of our knowledge the testator is of the age of majority, or is otherwise legally competent to make a will, and appears of sound mind and under no undue influence or constraint.  Under penalty of perjury, we declare these statements are true and correct on this ________ day of ____________________, 20______ at _____________________________________________________________, State of [State].


__________ [Signature of Witness #1]

__________ [Printed or typed name of Witness #1]

__________ [Address of Witness #1, Line 1]

__________ [Address of Witness #1, Line 2]


__________ [Signature of Witness #2]

__________ [Printed or typed name of Witness #2]

__________ [Address of Witness #2, Line 1]

__________ [Address of Witness #2, Line 2]


__________ [Signature of Witness #3]

__________ [Printed or typed name of Witness #3]

__________ [Address of Witness #3, Line 1]

__________ [Address of Witness #3, Line 2]


Can Wills Be Left Online?

Can Wills Be Left Online?

Individuals that have decide to write a will, have many options to do so. They may hire an attorney or a will writing service to write their will, or they may do it themselves. In any case, it is best that the individual conduct research on the applicable laws and taxes, before they proceed.
Individuals can locate free will temples online, as well as templates that incur a fee. While many will writing services online are reputable, some may not be. In addition, legal websites which publish last will and testament templates may not update them as laws change. Wills online are not guaranteed to be the most up to date version. For that reason, wills online should only be  purchased from reputable sources.
Online wills may just be a simple outline in which the benefactor would fill in the empty spaces. These types of online wills can be beneficial for those that have simple estates, or estates valued lower than some. For instance, wills online that have blank spaces may be utilized by those that have few beneficiaries and are fairly certain that none of them will dispute the will.
There are also more complicated versions of online wills, which require more extensive work and research by the individual that wishes to write the will. These types of wills online would be utilized by those that have more complicated estates.
In any case, it is recommended that individuals have their will reviewed by a legal processional, in order to avoid any legal complications or the possibility that the benefactors wishes will not be followed. 

What You Should Know About Wills

What You Should Know About Wills

Last will and testament

A last will and testament is a legal document which describes benefactor’s wishes after death. The document may contain which items, or amounts of money, are to be left to specific beneficiaries.

How to write a will

probate.laws.com/will/How to write a will

Writing a will includes careful attention to detail, as well as applicable laws in the jurisdiction where the will be administered. It is best to seek legal advice when writing a will, otherwise the document may not be held legally valid by the courts.

Will writing service

probate.laws.com/will/Will writing service

A will writing service may be less expensive that seeking the services of an attorney. In fact, attorneys may work at the will writing service to ensure that wills will be held legally valid by the courts.

Wills online

probate.laws.com/will/Wills online

Wills online are available from a variety of sources. In some cases, online will templates will be free and in others, there may be a fee associated with the template.