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The idea for a one-stop-shop for all one's estate planning needs was created when wills.com's founder had to deal with the sudden loss of his father and its aftermath.

The first thing to do after you lose someone is to find a suitable funeral home that fits the deceased wishes and one that fits your budget.
the second step is to obtain proof of death which you can get from the funeral home or a medical examiner. If you need help with this call us.

Some people don’t want to probate a will. There is no requirement that a will or property go through probate, but if the decedent owned property that is not arranged specifically to avoid probate, there is no way for the beneficiaries to obtain legal ownership without it. There are some exceptions to this. Florida law allows a family to own property in a decedent’s name if they continue to pay taxes and do not sell it.

Probate requirements vary from state to state, give our team a call on +1 (424) 437-2424 Monday till Thursday 9am - 5PM (PST)

Yes, an executor can witness a will – as long as they are not also a beneficiary of your will.

Laws differ from state to state. for assistance give our team a call on +1 (424) 437-2424 Monday till Thursday 9 am - 5 PM (PST)

No – if a beneficiary, or their spouse or civil partner, witnesses a will, they forfeit their right to their share of the estate.

You should refuse to witness a will if:

  • The person signing is not the testator
  • You don’t think the testator has the mental capacity
  • You think the testator is being coerced into signing the will
  • You know that you are a beneficiary under the will or you’re the spouse or civil partner of a beneficiary.

If you’re uncomfortable in any way about the circumstances you should refuse.

Last will and testament

A living trust is a legal entity - like a small corporation

• It holds assets

• Trust must be actively managed, with new assets going into the trust and assets that have been sold, being removed from the trust

• Trusts allow you to avoid probate and keep your affairs private

Unless you have experience or knowledge setting up a corporation it is wise to consult an attorney or hire one to manage your trust to ensure smooth execution post humously. alternatively, a reputable trust company can be used. 

A will stipulates the following:

* Names a personal representative (and a back-up)

* Names a guardian for your children (and a back-up)

* Creates a plan for your pets

* Dictates the distribution of your assets and property

* Decides how debts should be paid

A beneficiary whose maiden name has changed can prove their identity by producing a marriage certificate, divorce decree, or affidavit. Once the court sees appropriate documentation, it can distribute the funds, property, or other assets to the desired beneficiary.

Some states allow a will registry to be created at the courthouse, so you may try inquiring at the local probate court whether they maintain such a registry. Other locations to look at include a safety deposit box (this may require a court order if you didn't sign the signature card), under mattresses, between book pages, car glove boxes or trunks, or other private safes. If you don't know the attorney who drafted the will, you might look for old checks made out to attorneys or legal firms. You can also ask friends of the deceased who may have acted as witnesses whether or not there was mention of where the will was kept or the attorney involved. An address book may be a good resource for people to contact. If the Testator used an online service you way want to contact these.

No – A person might make a will many decades before it comes into effect, so it’s entirely possible that one, or both, of the witnesses, die before the testator. This doesn’t invalidate it in any way.

Laws differ from state to state. for assistance give our team a call on +1 (424) 437-2424 Monday till Thursday 9 am - 5 PM (PST)


Our comprehensive Glossary assists you in making sense of the legal and technical terms used to create your will.

Click on any of the letters above or explore the entire Glossary.

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