It goes without saying that estate planning isn’t high on the list of priorities for many Americans. For some, this can be traced to other life events continually getting in the way, while for others it can be traced to the uneasiness that comes from having to consider their own mortality.
Still others, however, don’t give much thought to estate planning because they think it’s a complex process that they don’t need and don’t really understand.
While it’s understandable how a person might feel this way, the reality is that estate planning offers considerable and easy-to-understand benefits to people from all walks of life even in its most basic form: the simple will.
A simple will is a legally binding document that enables a person to outline how they want their personal property and real property (i.e., real estate) to be divided and distributed upon their demise. What this really means is that you, not the state of Georgia, will decide who should inherit your assets.
While the notion of executing any legal document might seem intimidating, consider that state law doesn’t require that a simple will be drafted in a particular format. Indeed, it only sets forth a few basic requirements:
- The testator (i.e., the person creating the will) must be at l4 years old
- The testator must be of “sound mind,” meaning they have the necessary mental capacity to comprehend the actions they are taking
- The will must be in writing and signed by the testator
- The will must be signed in the presence of at least two witnesses, both of whom also add their signatures
Having established how executing a simple will is perhaps not as intimidating a prospect as people might imagine, our future posts on this subject will attempt to address more specific issues, including what can and cannot be accomplished via a simple will.
In the meantime, please consider speaking with an experienced legal professional if you would like to learn more about will execution.