• Last Will Book Back Cover
  • Last Will Book Back Cover

Make Your Own Last Will & Testament

If you die without making a will, you will have no control over how your property is distributed amongst your family and friends, or over who takes care of your minor children after your death. These matters will be determined by state law.

Furthermore, the value of your estate could be reduced by the costly legal and professional fees usually associated with dying without a will (dying intestate).

Make Your Own Last Will and Testament” includes a plain English review of the matters you need to consider when making a will, and includes all of the instructions and template forms necessary to make your own will. It will show you how to:

  • Leave money and property to your loved ones.
  • Avoid intestacy.
  • Appoint guardians for your children.
  • Save on legal fees and probate.
  • Much more.

Description

Before explaining how this book can help you, let’s take a quick look at why you need a last will & testament and what happens if you die without making a valid last will. Unfortunately, the consequences of dying intestate are all too familiar to many people:

  • You will have not control over how your assets are distributed after your death – your assets will be distributed in accordance with state law and your wishes will not be taken into account.
  • You will have no control over who cares for your minor children – a court will decide who is appointed as guardian of your children.
  • You will have no control over the long-term management of inheritances received by your children – you can, for the most part, only make these arrangements using a last will and testament or living trust. If you have not made such arrangements, a court will appoint someone (usually a family member) to manage any inheritances that your children receive. That may not be someone you would want to see managing the finances of a lemonade stand……let alone your children’s future.
  • You will have no control over who wraps up your affairs after you die – state law will determine who is appointed as your personal representative and who will be responsible for closing your estate. That could be a family member, a creditor or even a court appointed executor. It could also be someone that you would not want going through your affairs, papers, bank accounts and more. The only way you avoid this is by choosing someone you are comfortable with in your will.
  • Your estate will probably end up paying higher legal and processional fees – if you don’t make a will, your estate will have to go through an intestate administration process. The legal and professional fees associated with going through that process can be higher than if you had made a will and went through a simplified probate process. These fees will be deducted from your estate and that will, in turn, reduce the value of your estate that your beneficiaries receive.

Making a will is the only way for you to take control over all of these matters and to properly provide for the distribution of your assets to your family and friends in the manner you want. Fortunately, thousands of prudent people in America avoid these and other similar problems every year by simply taking the time to make a will. These people sleep soundly in the knowledge that their estate will be distributed as they see fit and that their children will be taken care of. “Make Your Own Last Will and Testament” offers you a simple solution to enable you to join this sensible group of people.

We have taken our years of estate planning experience and knowledge and created a simple book that will guide you through the entire process of making a last will & testament. “Make Your Own Last Will & Testament” is a must read for anybody seriously thinking about making a will.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 – About Wills

What is a Will?

Basic Components of a Will

Types of Wills

Simple Wills

Testamentary Trust Wills

Pour-Over Wills

Self-Proving Wills

Holographic Wills

Oral Wills

Joint Wills

Mirror Wills

Living Wills

Dying Intestate

The Difference Between Wills and Living Wills

Do-it-Yourself Wills

Do You Need a Lawyer to Make a Will?

Chapter 2 – Making a Valid Will

What is a Valid Will?

Age of Majority

Mental Capacity

Undue Influence

Format of a Will

Signing of a Will

Having a Will Witnessed

Notarizing a Will

Chapter 3 – Wills and Intestacy

Why Everyone Needs a Will

Do I Have to Make a Will?

How Can a Will Save Me Money?

Intestacy and What Happens if You Don’t Make a Will?

Partial Intestacy

Apportionment and Distribution of Assets on Intestacy

Intestacy and Same Sex Partners

Estate and Inheritance Taxes

Chapter 4 – Gifts and Beneficiaries

What is a Gift?

Specific Item Gifts

Cash Gifts

What is a Beneficiary?

Types of Beneficiaries and Hierarchy of Distribution

Specific Gift Beneficiary

Alternate Beneficiary

Residuary Beneficiary

Who May Not Be a Beneficiary?

Gifts to Spouses

Community Property States

Common Law States

Gifts to Minors

Custodianship

Child’s Trust

A Family Pot Trust

Gifts to Charities

Gifts to Witnesses

Failed Bequests

Releasing Someone from a Debt

Common Disaster and Simultaneous Death

Disinheritance

Disinheriting Your Spouse

Disinheriting Your Child

No Contest Clauses

Challenging a Will

Reducing Challenges to a Will

Chapter 5 – Appointing Executors

What is an Executor?

Alternate Executors

Overview of Executors’ Duties

What Precisely Does an Executor Do?

Probate of an Estate

Grant of Probate

Who is Entitled to Act as an Executor?

Who Should be Your Executor?

Naming an Out-of-State Executor

Cash Reserves During Probate Administration

Chapter 6 – Guardians and Children

What is a Guardian?

Sole and Joint Guardians

Alternate Guardians

Appointment of a Guardian

Who Can Be a Guardian?

Should I Appoint Guardians for My Minor Children?

Considerations When Choosing a Guardian For Your Child

What Happens When No Guardian is Named in Your Will?

Leaving an Inheritance for Children

Management of Children’s Property

What Happens Without Property Management?

Options for Property Management

Appointment of a Property Guardian

Uniform Transfer to Minors’ Act

Child Trusts

Children’s and Family Pot Trusts

Whom Should You Choose as a Trustee?

Trustee’s Duties

Chapter 7 – Estate Planning

What is Estate Planning?

Last will and Testament

Revocable Living Trusts

Joint Ownerships

Pay-on-Death and Transfer-on-Death Accounts

Insurance Policies

Probate Free Transfers of Assets

Transfer Procedures

Reducing Taxes on Your Estate

Planning for Incapacity

Power of Attorney for Finance & Property

Advance Healthcare Directives

Living Wills

Healthcare Power of Attorney

Funeral Arrangements

Guardians

Conclusion

Chapter 8 – Estate Taxes

Estate Tax

Federal Estate Tax

State Death Tax

State Estate or Death Taxes: Paid by the Estate

State Inheritance Taxes : Paid by the Recipient of Property

“Pick-up” Taxes

Marital Deductions

Charitable Deductions

Other Ways to Reduce Estate Taxes

Lifetime Gifts to Children and Grandchildren

QTIP Trust

Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts

Family Limited Partnerships

Qualified Family Owned Business (QFMOB)

Special Use Real Estate Valuation

Conclusion

Chapter 9 – Getting Organized and Making Your Will

Before You Start Check Out Some Online Will Packs

Getting Organized

Appoint One or More Executors

Appoint a Testamentary Guardian for Your Minor Children

What If You Own Property Overseas?

Execute Your Will in the Prescribed Fashion

Consider Related Documentation

Cash Reserves During Administration

Location of Will

Chapter 10 – When Do I Need to Make My Will

The Power of Now!

What Happens Next?

Always one of two things!

So, When Should I Make a Will?

Chapter 11 – Changing Your Will

How to Change Your Will Using a Codicil

How Often Should I Review My Will?

Keep Your Will Updated!

Revocation of a Will

Appendix 1 – Glossary of Terms

Appendix 2 – Estate Planning Worksheet

Appendix 3 – Sample Wills

Appendix 4 – General Instructions for Completing Your Will

Appendix 5 – Specific Instructions for Completing Your Will

Appendix 6 – Self Proving Affidavit – Type 1

Appendix 7 – Self Proving Affidavit – Type 2

Appendix 8 – Additional Clauses

Forms

The following forms are included with this book:-

- Last Will & Testament for a single person with no children

- Last Will & Testament for a single person with children

- Last Will & Testament for a person who is married (or in a registered domestic partnership) without children

- Last Will & Testament for a person who is married (or in a registered domestic partnership) and has children

Why Choose Estatebee

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  • Save Money – Our service is simpler and cheaper than using a lawyer.
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  • Compliant with US Laws – You will be using tried and tested legal documents specifically tailored to comply with the laws of each state in the United States (except Louisiana).
  • Advanced Features – Your documents will contain advanced lawyer-approved provisions not usually found in standard run-of-the-mill documents you find online.
  • 20 Years in Business – EstateBee was one of the first businesses to start selling estate planning documents online back in 2000.
  • Trusted by Thousands – We have helped thousands of people to make wills, trusts, and powers of attorney over the past 20 years.
  • Bank Level Security – Your information is encrypted and secured safely using the same encryption technology used by banks.

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Help at every stage

Our customers are everything to us. So, we provide help to you at every stage of the document creation process.

Reviews (2)

2 reviews for Make Your Own Last Will & Testament

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    very good

    Sourav Das - January 05, 2022
  2. Profile

    VERY GOOD

    Ritesh Manjhi - January 05, 2022
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