Questions tagged [wills]

A will or testament is a legal document by which a person expresses their wishes as to how their property is to be distributed at death.

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How to protect assets from being passed to a beneficiary in a will when they are likely to die soon also

I'm going through the process of creating a simple (my first) last will and testament. I'm young with modest assets. I'm married with no children and live in the United States. I'd like to have ...
jdf's user avatar
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19 votes
2 answers
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Which grandchild is older, if one was born chronologically earlier but on a later calendar date due to timezones?

In his will, Charlie bequeaths his estate to his "oldest living grandchild." Upon Charlie's death, his two oldest living grandchildren are Bob and Alice. Bob was born in Vancouver, British ...
FlanMan's user avatar
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16 votes
3 answers
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What happens when a will conflicts with a new law (a law made after the testator has died)?

What happens when a will conflicts with a new law (a law made after the testator has died)? Suppose I have been bequeathed the family farm and the testator specified that the farm must be run in ...
Natasha's user avatar
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13 votes
2 answers
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What options are there for executor when no close family member is available?

What alternatives exist for finding and appointing an executor for one's will/estate for a person with no close family or qualified friend? Are there pros and cons?
AA040371's user avatar
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11 votes
2 answers
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What happens to debts when someone dies?

How are debts and loans recovered by the lenders after a borrower passes away? A debt can be as small as 100 bucks for the credit card bill. It can be as big as millions of bucks for mortgage (or ...
Ravindra S's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
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Meaning of 'Gift of Residue' section of a will

This section is in a family member's will: Gift of Residue I give my Residuary Estate to the said [Full Name] absolutely and if [Name] shall fail to obtain a vested interest leaving issue who survive ...
Elliveny's user avatar
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9 votes
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Can bones be willed to a family member after death?

Suppose I wish to leave some or all of my bones to a loved one after my demise (properly cleaned and bleached), or have a loved one leave me bones, is that something I am able to legally do (assuming ...
J.M.Edward's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
532 views

Can wills contain conditions?

Can wills contain conditions which must be fulfilled in order for certain clauses to have effect? For example: Uncle Fred wants his house to go to his niece, on the condition that the niece agree not ...
Patrick87's user avatar
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Is an English will valid if the testator dies while living in Scotland?

If a testator makes a will while living in England, to what extent will it be valid if the testator— permanently moves to Scotland, and subsequently dies there without making a further will?
Flup's user avatar
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8 votes
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Should I get a PO box for a will / transfer on death deed?

I'm to be a beneficiary on a will for my father and I was asked for my address. The address I provided is in an apartment complex. Maybe I'll be in that same apartment complex when my father passes or ...
neubert's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
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Is a will provision naming "my wife" as a beneficiary before marriage valid?

In the novel A Colorful Death by Carola Dunn, a man, Dr Fenwick, becomes engaged to a woman, Stella Warren.He makes a new will leaving all his property (except for a few small specified bequests) to &...
David Siegel's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
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Children and grandchildren must be explicitly disinherited in wills?

I was reading the following clause in the NH Wills Act: 551:10 Child Not Named, Etc. – Every child born after the decease of the testator, and every child or issue of a child of the deceased not ...
Cicero's user avatar
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6 votes
8 answers
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Release my children from my debts at the time of my death [closed]

Upon my death how do I physically write the actual release of debt without an attorney, so my children are not held responsible for my debts.
Artemus hutchens's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
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Are holographic wills really routinely thrown out by probate courts?

A lot of states do not permit holographic wills and specifically state in their laws that an unwitnessed will is invalid. This seems like a cruel provision to me. So, if a person writes out in their ...
Cicero's user avatar
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6 votes
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In the case that multiple wills with conflicting terms are left, which one prevails?

Suppose I die and, on the day before, I have signed two wills with conflicting terms. If, for some reason, it is not possible to determine which of these was signed first, which terms will prevail? ...
jimsug's user avatar
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When an American citizen dies in Mexico without a will, which countries' probate law applies?

When an adult American citizen dies while vacationing in Mexico with no will but assets in both Mexico and the US, which countries' probate law applies?
COOKIES's user avatar
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What are the downsides of using a service like LegalZoom for simple will / living will?

Let's say someone is interested in a fairly simple will (simple financial picture with a house, mortgage, 2 bank accounts, 2 retirement accounts; no prior wills; simple family structure, nearly-bog-...
user0306's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
1k views

Can I waive the "slayer statute" in my will?

In most jurisdictions, a killer cannot profit from their crime, i.e. if someone kills someone else, they cannot inherit from them. If I create a will, can I specifically ignore the slayer rule? Can I ...
Viktor's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
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Is it possible to exclude individuals as guardians?

I know that I can name specific individuals as guardians of my children in my will. Is it possible to exclude specific individuals (who'd normally be considered as possibilities since they are close ...
era's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
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Choosing Which 20% to Inherit

A relative has recently passed away in Spain. I live in the UK. They have left me 20% of their estate, my brother will receive 80%. I'm expecting this might be 20% of cash and some items such as a ...
Adrian Thompson Phillips's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
170 views

How does one value an estate before being able to access details?

Question arising out of this answer. In the UK, one needs to value the money, property, and possessions of someone who died, before one can apply to represent the estate for official dealings. ...
WBT's user avatar
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4 votes
4 answers
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Does my will need to be in legalese?

My wife and I are planning to write a will, or have one written for us. To me, it seems very simple. Our wishes are: If either my wife or I dies, the other one gets everything. If we both die before ...
ericksonla's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
174 views

Percentages and fractions in a will? [closed]

My wife and I are considering writing a will (in UK), and I have looked for general advice online. I get the impression that we have to specify how much cash should be granted to each heir; but that ...
j4nd3r53n's user avatar
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4 votes
3 answers
229 views

Can my will gift digital files to specific people?

A specific bequest is defined as such: the gift in a will of a certain article to a certain person or persons Here it says: A specific bequest is a gift (bequest) or a specific item or asset to ...
pushkin's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
588 views

Can I leave my girlfriend/wife to someone in my will?

Obviously this would never work here in the UK and would certainly be illegal in some way. However out of curiosity I would like to know specifically what the legal implications would be, or what ...
Lyall's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
191 views

How complex can a will or testament be?

How many resources will be expended to execute it? Is this process self-funding? Say, if it prescribes that assets should be disseminated only upon a condition, possibly many years in the future, can ...
2080's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
179 views

Protecting myself against my future self

There is always a grey zone between being 100% mentally operational and the beginning of, say, age-related dementia. Before a physician can declare that someone is not able to make clear, rational ...
Mowgli's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
1k views

Can I release all my copyrighted works into the public domain upon my death?

I would like all my copyrighted works into the public domain immediately upon my death (rather than the current United States law specifying that it will be released 70 years after my death). Is this ...
Thunderforge's user avatar
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4 votes
3 answers
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Can a Last Will legally specify beneficiaries at a specified url?

Can a Last Will legally specify beneficiaries in an external document? For example, can the Last Will point to a url that shows a list of beneficiaries?
Annie's user avatar
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1 answer
617 views

What to do if you have a possible 'zombie' relative

An elderly uncle of mine spent the last 10 years of so in assisted living until dying in his late 90s. He has a sister (who has mild dementia) and a brother who has been not reachable for ages, along ...
user11599's user avatar
  • 143
4 votes
1 answer
129 views

Why would a person choose to amend their will via a codicil rather than create a new one?

According to Wikipedia, a codicil is as follows: In the United States, a codicil is a document that changes an existing will. Amendments made by a codicil may alter, explain, add to, subtract from, ...
Thunderforge's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
245 views

Are wills that easily contested?

I've seen multiple situations in TV shows, fictional and nonfictional, where wills or other expressions of post-mortem wishes have been contested for reasons that seemed trivial. One was a man who ...
Ethan's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
701 views

What happens if a person is thought to be dead and their estate is administered, and then they turn up alive?

Suppose a person disappears and is thought to have died (e.g. massive fireball plane crash, 'nobody could have survived that') and so their estate was administered. And then, after their property ...
Patrick Conheady's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
51 views

Can a testator exercise testamentary freedom using a choice of law clause?

In British Columbia, some testators left little for some of their independent adult children, while leaving most of their assets to their other children. In many of those cases, the courts granted the ...
Victor's user avatar
  • 192
3 votes
2 answers
1k views

Destroying a will and ganging up with relatives not included in that will

I've seen and read about lots of relatives of deceased wealthy individuals disputing the dead person's will and I've always been curious about this: Suppose I'm a lawyer (who I'm not) and I'm ...
Zero's user avatar
  • 139
3 votes
2 answers
389 views

Probate vs Non-Probate Assets for Wills

New York State (USA) here. I'm having trouble understanding the difference between Probate and Non-Probate assets, from a Will/Testament standpoint. I believe non-probate assets are specific gifts you ...
hotmeatballsoup's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
3k views

Who is responsible for the disposal of a body when there are no directives in the deceased's will?

If someone dies with a will, but does not mention their body or how to dispose of it, who decides what happens? Or, let's say a parent has two children and dies leaving no will; which of the siblings ...
Sam's user avatar
  • 660
3 votes
4 answers
751 views

Can I (proactively) prevent someone from leaving me something in a will?

What can I do to prevent someone from leaving me something in their will? Generally speaking, in North America: Do I have to take responsibility for things left to me in a will or are their other ...
admcfajn's user avatar
  • 133
3 votes
1 answer
132 views

How is the passing of an estate's property handled when the recipient has also died?

This is a theoretical question so I may not have thought it through completely. We have a grandmother who has died, leaving behind a will that is several years old. In it, she has given an asset (...
Brian R's user avatar
  • 478
3 votes
1 answer
2k views

Can terms of a will be legally kept secret before filed in court?

Let's say a father has two sons and he creates a will. He leaves something to son A and something else to son B. He doesn't want either of the sons to know the amount the other gets. And let's assume ...
AstroSharp's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
58 views

How does Ohio handle intestate inheritance of jointly owned property

My best attempt to summarize the situation; Ohio property purchased as JTWROS by A, B, and C. A and B are married. C is adult child of A and B. Unfortunately, A suddenly passes, not leaving a will. ...
Liam's user avatar
  • 49
3 votes
2 answers
3k views

Can I create a will before our baby is born?

We are having a baby and I had a question about creating a will. I am planning on talking to a lawyer before doing so, but just wanted some quick advice. Can I create the will before the baby is born? ...
vkapadia's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
136 views

How can one access a deceased parent's assets?

My mother passed away two months ago. I lived with her, because she had medical conditions, for pretty much my entire life. I recently found out she and my father never divorced. She and he had been ...
Redchigh's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
47 views

What are the intestate succession rules for intellectual estate (literary works) in India?

My father passed away without a will. He has some unpublished books that I'd like to publish. However as a will does not exist, I am not sure how the copyright or ownership of the intellectual ...
Null's user avatar
  • 187
3 votes
1 answer
85 views

Can giving all your money to a private company be challenged in court?

Can giving all your money to a private company be challenged in court? I am wondering if such a will can be challenged using the insanity clause, because it seems like it's not something a lot of ...
Sayaman's user avatar
  • 5,170
3 votes
0 answers
99 views

Can Prince Philip's will be unsealed before 2111?

His will was sealed for 90 years when he died, and the Guardian's appeal failed. Can someone else do a different appeal and get it unsealed? Is there any way it will be unsealed before the 90 years is ...
Standing There Is You's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
119 views

If I am part of a family trust but was under age can my grandmother or mother settle in court for a lump sum of money and have me taken off the will

My great grandfather left a family trust; my grandmother says she sold my portion in court to the trustee while I was under age. Is that legal? I am from California, U.S.A
Haley Decarli's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
261 views

Can a public copyright license take effect upon the author's death?

If I understand correctly, it is possible to release copyrighted works under a public license (such as an open-source software license) upon one's death by stating this in a will. Can it be done ...
Someone's user avatar
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2 votes
3 answers
2k views

What are the consequences of forging a will, in common law and in civil law?

In any legal system (in which individuals can transfer property ownership upon their death through wills), there are probably criteria for when a will is admissible (e.g. the deceased was cognitively ...
einpoklum's user avatar
  • 630
2 votes
3 answers
526 views

Can I legally dictate the disposal of my body after death?

Is there a legal document that can prevent my body from turning over to my family after my death? When I talk to my family they say my thoughts don't matter. Their ceremonies will defile both my body ...
songbird's user avatar