Understanding the Different Types of Wills, And Why They Matter

The A&M TeamEstate Planning

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Let’s face it – no one likes to think about death and what will happen after they are gone. However, it is a necessary part of life to take actions and determine what is going to happen to your possessions and belongings after you pass away. While it is true that most people are familiar with a will and understand that it is a wise document to have in place – regardless of your age – many do not take action and actually get this document in writing. Whether you are someone with a lot of assets or not, having a will is important for both your well-being and your family members’.

All that aside, did you know there are actually multiple types of wills? Having a will drawn up isn’t as simple as walking into your lawyers’ office and telling him or her who you want to have which possessions in the event of your death. There are numerous factors that will contribute to what type of will is best for you, and this process can actually be quite complex. This is where estate-planning attorneys from Atkins & Markoff come in. We understand that the notion of having a will drawn up doesn’t exactly sound like the most exciting way to spend an afternoon, but it is necessary. In order to ensure you have the right will for your situation, we encourage you to contact an estate-planning attorney from Atkins & Markoff today. Whether you are wanting to set conditions for the implementation of your will or are in a specific situation that has special requirements, we can help you figure out which is the best option for your needs.

Now, here is a look at the various types of wills:

  • Simple of Statutory Will

This type of will is essentially a “one-size-fits-all” document that is ideal for people with small, uncomplicated estates. Due to how relatively straightforward a simple or statutory will is, it a common choice that can be drafted with the help of one of our attorneys.

  • Pour-over Will

This type of will is ideal for people who have set up a living trust and would like to name the trust as your primary beneficiary. When you die, all assets or possessions that were not already named in the trust will ‘pour’ into this will and be distributed according to the terms set in place.

  • Conditional or Contingent Wills

For this type of will, the provisions specified are only valid if a certain event happens or does not happen. In most cases, a conditional or contingent will is used when the beneficiary is not of a certain age yet. In the event the condition of the will is not met and the person does not have another will, the estate will be distributed as if there was no will in place at all.

  • Holographic Will

A holographic will is one that is handwritten but not witnessed. In order for this will to be valid, it must be signed, dated, and written entirely in the Testator’s handwriting. It should be noted that holographic wills are not recognized in nearly half of the United States. In the state of Oklahoma, there are strict regulations that must be followed for a holographic will to be valid.

  • Oral or Nuncupative Will

An oral will is one that is spoken, not written. When this type of will is drawn up, you tell someone out loud how you want your property distributed in the event of your death. These wills can be quite complicated and are not widely recognized, so please contact an attorney from Atkins & Markoff if you have questions regarding oral wills.

  • Living Will

Finally, a living will is actually a set of instructions that outlines what medical treatment, if any, you would like administered in the event you are unable to communicate your wishes. It is important to make the distinction that this is not a document that distributes your assets after you die.

As you can see, there are many different types of wills that are designed for different situations. To learn more about your options and which will is right for you, contact an attorney from Atkins & Markoff today.