Wills

Will Attorneys in Rocky Hill, Connecticut

A will is a legal document used to direct the distribution of a person’s property and, if required, to choose a guardian for a person’s minor children in their death. When it comes to executing our clients’ preferences and minimizing or eliminating taxes upon death, our will attorneys are ready to help. Our Connecticut estate planning attorneys aim to construct wills that not only express our customers’ preferences but also comply with all legal requirements set by Connecticut and federal law. Self-drafted wills or those obtained from the internet that does not meet these criteria run the danger of being ruled void. The state statutes, and not your intentions, would govern the distribution of your possessions in that case. Allow us at Darius Law Group to assist you in drafting a legitimate will or evaluating the validity of your present will so that this does not occur.

What is a Will?

Your wishes about distributing your possessions after your death are spelled out in a legally binding document known as a last will and testament. A will can be a helpful tool to:

  • Name a guardian for your minor children,
  • Name a trustee to look after any assets you leave them, and 
  • Name an executor to make sure your wishes are followed out.

Because of this, it is crucial that the process of creating a will in Connecticut be error-free. Even a slight drafting error, such as using ambiguous or imprecise language, can undermine your intentions.

Hire one of our knowledgeable attorneys to ensure that the drafting process goes well and that the final document is valid.

Additionally, estate planning may be pretty complicated, and numerous difficulties may not arise for a layperson regarding asset distribution. A will’s formulation can be complicated by state estate planning regulations and many possible outcomes.

Contingencies such as owning property in different states, ensuring that children from previous marriages are adequately protected, transferring business ownership, and more can all necessitate an estate plan.

You should also contact one of our experienced will attorneys if you plan on leaving money or other assets to people outside of your immediate family, as these distributions are more likely to be challenged in probate.

Why Should You Make a Will?

will attorneysProtecting your loved ones and assets can be easier with a will, sometimes known as a “last will and testament.” You can use a will to:

  • leave your property to people or organizations
  • name a personal guardian to care for your minor children
  • name a trusted person to manage the property you leave to minor children
  • name an executor, the person who makes sure that the terms of your will are carried out

What Happens If You Don't Have a Will?

Connecticut’s “intestacy” laws govern the distribution of your properties if you die without a will. The intestacy law of Connecticut distributes your assets to your spouse and children first, followed by your parents and siblings.

If you die without a spouse or children, the property you leave behind will go to your grandkids or your parents. After that, the list gets longer and longer, including relatives who are increasingly removed from the immediate family.

The state will confiscate your property if the court has exhausted this list and found that you have no live relatives through blood or marriage.

What Are the Steps to Make a Will?

Decide What Property to Include in Your Will

Start by making a list of your most essential possessions. Then, select which objects must be left behind through other means. 

Decide Who Will Inherit Your Property

For most people, it isn’t hard to decide who gets what. Be cautious if you’re thinking of leaving your spouse or children out of your will. If your primary selections don’t survive you, don’t forget to select other beneficiaries.

Choose an Executor to Handle Your Estate

It’s possible to choose an executor in your will who is responsible for carrying out the conditions of the will. Some of the executor’s responsibilities include:
  • Probate administration, 
  • asset distribution, and 
  • debt and tax payment 
Your executor doesn’t need any particular expertise because they can employ our trusted will attorneys to assist them. However, be sure that the individual you’re considering is up for the task.

Choose a Guardian for Your Children

Decide who you want to raise your minor children in the unusual event that you and their other parents cannot do so.

Choose Someone to Manage Children’s Property

You should choose adults to handle any property left to minors or young adults. To grant the individual responsible for the child’s inheritance, you might designate them as guardians, caretakers, or trustees.

Make Your Will

There are several options available to you while drafting a will. You’re allowed to:
  • Hire a Lawyer. If you need or want customized legal guidance and can afford to pay for it, hiring a lawyer to create your estate plan is the best option.
  • Make a Will Yourself. Those with simple estates can use do-it-yourself materials to create their wills. If you have a complicated company, financial situation, or family feud, a DIY will is not for you. However, employing our skilled will attorneys for more complex estates are more ideal.

Sign Your Will in Front of Witnesses

You must have at least two witnesses present when you sign your will once you’ve completed it. As part of probating a will after your death, if you’re utilizing a form called a “self-proving affidavit,” your signature should be notarized.

Store Your Will Safely

If your loved ones can’t locate your will after your death, it won’t do any good. It should be kept in a secure area and carefully labeled, and your executor should know where it is. Your relatives will be able to find it if you store it among other critical papers in a file cabinet or desk drawer. It’s not required to be kept in a safe, and doing so might cause a delay in your estate’s administration after your death.

What Won't a Will Do?

Wills are fantastic, straightforward, and affordable solutions to many people’s estate planning needs, but they can’t do it all. Here are some things you shouldn’t expect to accomplish in your will.

Leave Certain Kinds of Property

In most cases, you cannot use your will to leave:

 

  • The property you share under a joint tenancy (or in “tenancy by the entirety” or “community property with right of survivorship ” with your spouse).
  • Property that you’ve transferred to your living trust.
  • A life insurance policy for which you’ve designated a beneficiary and the money from that policy.
  • It’s money you’ve designated as your beneficiary on paperwork issued by the account administrator for a pension, IRA, 401(k), or other retirement plans.
  • Beneficiary (transfer-on-death or TOD) ownership of property. Stocks, bonds, and, in certain areas, real estate or automobiles may all fall under this category.
  • Money in a bank account that is transferable upon death.

Leave Funeral Instructions

The majority of the time, a person’s will isn’t discovered until days or weeks after the death for which they were intended. That’s too late to assist those who need to make quick decisions concerning the disposition of a body and memorial or funeral ceremonies. Please don’t put your final intentions in one place; instead, create a separate document and give it to your executor.

Reduce Estate Taxes

Making tax-saving moves today might help you avoid owing estate taxes in the future. Tax evasion cannot be accomplished through the use of a will. It is possible to lower or postpone the tax bill by using a variety of trusts.

Avoid Probate

The probate court can delay the distribution of a decedent’s property for months or even years before releasing it to the intended beneficiaries.

Put Certain Conditions on Gifts

Wills are restricted by law, as are some provisions contained within them. A present conditional on the recipient’s marriage, divorce, or conversion to another religion is not permitted. It’s still possible to have an impact on more minor issues.

Leave Money for an Illegal Purpose

It’s not commonly brought up, but you can’t set money aside to promote smoking among children.

Arrange to Care for a Beneficiary With Special Needs

A will isn’t the best place to leave money for long-term care for a loved one. It’s preferable to create a trust specifically for the recipient’s benefit. It is possible to supplement a disabled relative’s income through a special needs trust without endangering their government assistance.

Leave Money to Pets

Don’t try to leave property to your pets in your will since they can’t own it. Make sure your pet is in excellent hands by handing over some money to the person who has promised to look after them. Trusting the person you’ve chosen to look after your pets in the event of your death may be more important than creating an animal trust in certain states.

Do You Need to Have Your Will Notarized?

A will does not need to be notarized to be valid in Connecticut. However, if you wish to make your will “self-proving” in Connecticut, you need to see a notary public. The court can accept a self-proving will without contacting the witnesses who signed it, which expedites the probate process.

You and your fitnesses will go to a notary to sign an affidavit stating you are who you say you are and that you were aware that you were signing the will when you did so.

Can You Revoke or Change Your Will?

At any moment, you can cancel or alter your will in Connecticut. using the following methods:
  • burning, canceling, tearing, or obliterating it yourself or by instructing someone else to do one of these things in front of you
  • making a new will or codicil
If you need to change your will, it’s best to revoke it and make a new one. However, if you have only relatively modest modifications to make, you could add a supplement to your current will. It is called a codicil. Either way, you’ll have to go through the same steps you did for your original will to seal the deal on your revisions. If you and your spouse divorce (or if a judge decides that your marriage is not lawful), Connecticut law revokes any language in your will that gives property to your spouse or designates your spouse to be your executor. It is an exception to this rule if you indicate that the terms of your will are unaffected by your spouse’s divorce. Consult one of our experienced estate planning attorneys if you have any questions concerning divorce’s impact on your estate plan.

Finding the Right Legal Partner

Making a legitimate last will and testament ensures that your loved ones are cared for according to your wishes when you die away. However, because estate planning regulations may be pretty complicated, it’s crucial to identify an experienced legal partner who can provide guidance and support.

This will guarantee that your will is legal and that your loved ones are not caught up in a lengthy probate struggle. Dealing with a last will and testament may be complicated, as decisions made during the drafting process might have long-term consequences for family members.

It’s crucial to speak with one of our experienced will attorneys, who make it a point to manage the procedure with respect, care, and concern for everyone involved.

We specialize in making the process of preparing a will as straightforward and pleasant as possible at Darius Law Group. For a free consultation, contact us right now.

We're Here to Assist You

Many individuals believe that once they have financed a trust, it will immediately take effect when it is needed. A trust must be administered to carry out the desires of its creator. Tax filings with the state and the IRS are part of trust management. The legislation also stipulates that beneficiaries of trusts and others be notified of the decedent’s death.

Opening bank accounts, resolving creditor claims, acquiring a new tax ID number, arranging for the sale of assets, paying the decedent’s final costs, and other responsibilities. Accounting standards must be adhered to.

The responsibilities of a trustee are substantial, and failing to run a trust properly can result in severe financial and legal penalties.

We at Darius Law Group can explain the tasks involved and the potential risks. Our knowledgeable trust attorneys can help you with every step of the process. We can assist you in finding the perfect trustee. Our skilled trust attorneys can also work with your advisers and representatives to ensure that the trust’s directions are followed correctly.

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