A will is just a reasonable way to plan for the future of your family, but can you create a will in Wisconsin without a lawyer? The quick answer is yes, but the real question is should you. Wills can be simple, but they can also get fairly complex especially if you have a lot of assets to manage, beneficiaries who will inherit, or even trusts to set up and manage.
Read More: How to Select Beneficiaries For Your Will
When should you seek legal advice for a will?
The real question when considering when to get legal advice on a will is do you think the will might be contested? If so, then you should have legal assistance while drafting your will. A contested will can get messy very fast, leaving people potentially arguing about the plans that you tried to put in place.
Common reasons a will could be contested
You want to avoid a contested will? There are a few common things that could cause a will to be contested. Having a lawyer work with you during the will drafting can help you avoid these things, but you should still keep them in mind going into your will and even after your will is created.
- Something in your will is illegal: There are many state and federal laws governing how a will should work. A lawyer can ensure that your will follows the letter of the law.
- More than one will: This can happen. Someone might draft a will and forget about it only to draft a new one years later. A lawyer can ensure that the will you draft will be treated as the definitive one after your passing.
- Will has fraudulent terms: Someone could question the authenticity of all or part of your will or suggest that undue influence was involved in the drafting of your will.
- Questioning your mental state: If it is thought that you were not of sound mind when your will was drafted, someone could contest. If that is a concern for you, a lawyer can ensure you meet the requirements of a sound mind.
- Will is not up to date: As you continue through life, you should remember to update your will after any major life event. A change in your marital status, the death of a beneficiary, gaining or losing major assets, and more can all count as a major life event.
Who can legally create a will in Wisconsin?
You may be wondering who is allowed to create a will in Wisconsin. The simple answer is most people. You must be older than 18 to create a will, and you also must be of sound mind. Determining a sound mind can be complicated, but it may work differently than you think.
For the purposes of a will, being of sound mind means that you know what you have, you know who would receive it, and how any documents you sign affect where your assets will go.
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