Creating a Valid Will or Trust
Wills and trusts can be powerful estate planning tools that almost anyone can take advantage of. By creating a will, a person can transfer assets to beneficiaries of his or her choosing as opposed to state law. A trust can make it possible for some or all assets to skip probate. However, for such a document to be valid, it must be created in accordance with state law.
A Will Should Be Typed and Signed by Witnesses
For a will to be valid, it should be typed and signed by at least two witnesses. The witnesses should not be beneficiaries or anyone who could have an interest in the estate. However, anyone who is 18 or older and of sound will who meets the other criteria can act as a witness. While a will could be considered valid if it is written by hand, it is easier for someone to edit it or otherwise claim it is a fake. Any changes to a will should be notarized by an attorney.
Don’t Forget to Fund the Trust
Trusts may be considered null and void if they are not properly funded. Assets can be titled in the name of the trust either when it is created or through a pour-over will. A pour-over will is one that has a provision to fund a trust upon a person’s death.
If assets are not properly titled, they could revert to their original state and be subject to probate. For instance, a home that was titled in the name of a deceased person instead of a trust after his or her death may have to go through probate.
Talk to an Attorney About Estate Plan Documents
Working with an estate planning attorney in Las Vegas may make it easier to create a thorough and legally valid plan. Ideally, a person will have a will, trust and a medical directive to guide decisions made while a person is incapacitated.