Wills are essential documents recognised by the law, provided it has the signature of a testator or people authorised to act on the testator's behalf. You must also include witnesses whose signatures must appear on the document. This piece discusses a few problems people encounter and helps you learn more about the legal provisions that guide the creation and execution of wills.
Marriage After Creating a Will
If you marry after creating a will, there is a high chance of disputes when executing it in the future. Your attorney can advise you to include a clause regarding the anticipated marriage. This clause prevents nullification of the will when contested in the future.
The revocation of wills after marriage depends on your jurisdiction's law. For example, your marriage, de facto relationship or domestic partnership must last for the period constituting the legal definition of marriage.
Divorce settlements handle issues such as child custody, property division and residency. However, these agreements do not impact wills. An ex-spouse can still go to court and claim the estate of a deceased person. Still, such a case is only actionable if you made the will before your divorce. Your lawyer can help you draft a post-separation will that addresses your current situation and wishes.
Technically, anything you give your ex-spouse beyond the alimony or child support is a gift. Therefore, you have no obligation under the law to provide such gifts even after you pass. Any attempts by the spouse to get a portion of your estate through the court system might result in disagreements and delay the succession process. Therefore, ensure you change your will to deter such tendencies.
Family members, business partners and close friends can contest a will. However, the will must personally affect the life of the contesting person for a judge court to hear the contest. Therefore, the person might be one of the few you name in the will, a disinherited individual from the last will or one whose relationships with you make them legally deserving of your inheritance.
Again, your attorney might be of assistance here. You may draft a no-contest clause and include it in your will, barring anyone from disputing your wishes. Alternatively, you can discuss your wishes with family members and let them know what you would want if you pass. Such a discussion might be difficult, but it helps prevent surprises.
Some common legal issues people encounter when making will include revocation after marriage, divorces, and contested wills. For more information on wills, contact a professional near you.Share