Once again, I am not a lawyer I am a paralegal. So this is not intended to be legal advice only legal information. Also let’s not forget that when a lawyer or a paralegal becomes involved your problem or concern becomes an issue.
To get started there are two things I did not cover last week. Testate and Intestate. Being Testate is having a notarized Will and or a Living Will that is registered with the probate courts or at the very least left with a lawyer or a loved one. Intestate means you don’t have a Will. Let’s be honest dying without a Will will make things incredibly difficult for your loved ones.
There are some states like Colorado which accept what is commonly called Holographic Will. A Holographic Will is very easy to create and 20 times more difficult to use. To create a Holographic Will all you have to do is get a notebook write down your wishes sign it and leave it someplace where you hope that somebody you trust will find it. Once found your loved ones will have to get your Holographic Will validated in the probate courts.
In most states 2 witness signatures are needed to help validate a Will. There are some states that do require up to 3 signatures. .Someone who can give you a usable witness signature is someone who does not benefit from your Estate. The idea is these signatures will help prove that you created your Will without being forced too. Also that no one faked it, trying to rip off your Estate.
Okay, moving on the most important part of a validating your Will is getting the dumb thing registered. You can register you Will your local probate court system, Sometimes you may be asked to file your Will with the county recorder’s office. This will cost you about $67. The fee may be a little different depending where you live.
Now you do not have file your Will with the Probate Court before you leave. But, I can’t say this loud enough your Will must be somewhere it can be easily found. Like I said before you can leave your Will with your lawyer or a loved one. However after you die you’re Will must go through Probate Court to be validated.
SIDE-NOTE: Validation simply put is satisfying a judge that these are indeed your last wishes and instructions. That no one bamboozled you or forced you into creating your Will. You’d be surprised how many fools will submit phony Wills trying to rip off Estates.
Now having a Will validated proving testamentary of your Estate will cost $190 as of 2012. Oddly having your Estate proved Intestate or without a Will will cost your loved ones $150.
More Probate to come. You might be surprised how complex dying can be.