When Should A Simple Will Be Used?

When Should A Simple Will Be Used?

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When Should A Simple Will Be Used?

A simple will, as it sounds, is a simplified legal form will. This will aims for outright distribution of assets for a relatively uncomplicated estate.  The difference between writing a simple will and a normal will is threefold.  A simple will:

Can be written by the individual him or herself.  That is, it is a legal form that can be "filled out" by the testator, without necessarily needing the assistance of a will lawyer.

Is easily attained at any stationary store, book, or online from a legal form website, usually at a very nominal fee.  A normal will may require the assistance of an attorney and the payment of legal fees as he or she helps you through the process.

Presents more risk than a normal will, as there often is no legal advice given along with it.  

The simple will legal form is very easy to obtain and equally as easy to use, but as mentioned before, it presents more risk of something going wrong if an individual attempts to draft his or her own will without the aid of an attorney.  Probate attorneys specialize in this type of work and without one, an individual is forced to draft a will without the knowledge of estate law that an attorney would possess.  

When Should You Use A Simple Will?

A simple will should be used in situations where a more comprehensive will is not necessary.  More specifically, if an individual is under the age of 50, in good health, or does not expect to owe estate tax, this legal form will likely be enough.  However, in cases where an individual may owe estate tax, a more comprehensive legal form may be required. 

What is a Simple Will Lacking?

While a simple legal form will may be enough for many people, there are a number of situations in which a more complex legal form would be required, including:

The individual expects to owe estate tax after death

The individual wants to control what happens to his or her estate after death

The individual has children from a past marriage whose status may be in jeopardy after death

The individual expects somebody to contest the will, especially if the individual can be considered mentally incompetent

The individual has a child with a disability or special need

In summation, if an individual does not expect to leave assets requiring estate taxes, a simple will may be enough.  For people with more property and assets, a more sophisticated estate planning is recommended.

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