Could a text you send be your will?

Technology has outpaced the law. In the United Kingdom, the Law Commission is proposing a radical overhaul of inheritance laws so that people will be able to use notes, voicemail and text messages to make their wills. Current UK law regarding wills dates back to 1839; it states that a will needs to be written and signed by the testator as well as two witnesses to be valid. The new proposal would give new powers to county and high court judges to to decide on the balance of probabilities whether a recording or note could be an accurate summary of Continue Reading

Why You Need A Will

A recent survey found that just 36 percent of adults with minor children had a will. One important function of a will is for parents to name a guardian to care for their children, in the event of their death. Other functions include the distribution of wealth according to your wishes. Many people fail to realize that if they die without a will, a myriad of issues may like ensue causing time, money and stress to those you’ve left to deal with it. To learn more, read the following NYT article. Why You Should Get Around to Drawing Up a Continue Reading

Preventing a Will Contest

Emotions can run high at the death of a family member. If a family member is unhappy with the amount they received (or didn’t receive) under a will, he or she may contest the will. Will contests can drag out for years, keeping all the heirs from getting what they are entitled to. It may be impossible to prevent relatives from fighting over your will entirely, but there are steps you can take to try to minimize squabbles and ensure your intentions are carried out. Your will can be contested if a family member believes you did not have the Continue Reading

Make Reviewing Your Estate Plan One of Your New Year’s Resolutions

The beginning of a new year is a good time to take a look at your estate plan to make sure it is up to date. Less than half of people actually have any estate planning documents in place and many of those people may have outdated documents. Documents that were created when your children were born may need updating 20, 30, or 40 years later, after your family and financial situation have changed entirely. Estate planning is all about five essential documents. Here they are in order of importance: 1. The Durable Power of Attorney The most important estate Continue Reading

Making It Simple — Wills, Probate, Power of Attorney

The knowledge that we will eventually die is one of the things that seems to distinguish humans from other living beings. At the same time, no one likes to dwell on the prospect of his or her own death. But if you postpone planning for your demise until it is too late, you run the risk that your intended beneficiaries – those you love the most – may not receive what you would want them to receive whether due to extra administration costs, unnecessary taxes or squabbling among your heirs. This is why estate planning is so important, no matter Continue Reading