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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36
votes
1answer
7k views

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 ...
8
votes
2answers
609 views

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 ...
8
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2answers
713 views

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?
7
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2answers
9k views

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 ...
7
votes
1answer
301 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 ...
6
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1answer
225 views

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? ...
5
votes
1answer
447 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
406 views

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
198 views

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
123 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. ...
4
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1answer
103 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 ...
4
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2answers
799 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 ...
4
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3answers
139 views

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?
4
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1answer
288 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 ...
4
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1answer
279 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
110 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 ...
3
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4answers
374 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
96 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
214 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
104 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, ...
3
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1answer
107 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
142 views

1000-year trust? (fictional)

PREMISE: I'm writing a novel about a man who creates a legal entity intended to last 1000 years, and I'm not sure how to classify it. For lack of a better word (and total ignorance on my part), I ...
2
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2answers
192 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
535 views

Can a will order private property be destroyed?

I'm just wondering if you can will that all your personal property, and real property be destroyed or discarded in a will? To what extent is such a request legal, or illegal and can we predict if the ...
2
votes
1answer
60 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 (...
2
votes
1answer
99 views

Do I inherit some portion of property if there's no will?

My mother passed away without a will a month ago. She owned a house with my stepdad in Albany, NY. He still lives there. I live in FL. What portion of the estate value do I get as a result?
2
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2answers
371 views

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-...
2
votes
2answers
185 views

How to prevent assets in a will from being passed to a person suffering from incurable dementia?

Triggered by this question, a similar one. How can I write a will such that if a beneficiary is suffering from senile dementia at the time I die, they are passed elsewhere? The situation may well ...
2
votes
1answer
537 views

Is a digital last will and testament on my cloud drive legally binding?

For example: Let's say I simply put the signed, digitized document on a cloud drive and inform my executor of how to retrieve it via an email with instructions for safe keeping. Will my Executor have ...
2
votes
1answer
77 views

Spouse as a witness to a last will

I live in PA and we recently completed a will. The lawyer who drafted our wills stated that my wife and I could witness each other's will. Because his office is small (two lawyers and a paralegal), ...
2
votes
1answer
111 views

Joint executors: can one be silent?

In a will where two executors have been named, can one be "silent" without having to go through renunciation? I believe the writer named two in case one didn't survive the other, but only one has an ...
2
votes
2answers
2k 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? ...
2
votes
1answer
43 views

Canadian Wills and House Deed

So got a simple question, however, doing some searches, my google-foo failed me. Hoping some here can help shed some light on this and point me in the right direction. This is all future planning ...
2
votes
1answer
651 views

Under US Law, can a minor have a will?

Pretty much the above, can a minor with say, considerable earned assets of his own have a will made, and if not is there any alternative to a will that's possible for a minor?
2
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0answers
43 views

How do will holders discover the will maker has died?

My question relates to the UK, though the question could apply to other locales. Say I lodge a will with a legal representative in one part of the country (or even in another country) and years later ...
2
votes
4answers
248 views

Writing an easy-to-change will

Let’s take the following example: Alice is a web developer and she is in her 20s. She owns a business and some properties, bank accounts, Cryptocurrency wallets etc. She wants to write her will so, ...
2
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0answers
147 views

How can I legally petition for a home that has been in the family for generations but the deed has another name on it

There is a house in my family that has been lived in for almost 70 years. Originally the family member that purchased the house used a family friend to procure the mortgage (she did not know better as ...
1
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2answers
151 views

Unreasonable terms in a will

I'm trying to find information on whether a will in the UK is unenforceable, based on the fact that the terms in it are unreasonable, and can't seem to find any information - all advice on the ...
1
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2answers
63 views

Simpler way to handle living trust/will for property than transferring into a Trust

I just completed the Nolo Quicken Willmaker. It prints the following notification/warning: You're done making your trust document. Congratulations! Your living trust is not yet effective, however. ...
1
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1answer
84 views

Parent dead without a will

A person dies without a will in California, US, and one of several children proposes to take control of real estate. Under what conditions is this legal? How can such action be challenged, if it can ...
1
vote
1answer
309 views

How to exclude somebody from being a guardian in a will?

My wife and I are completing our last wills and testaments. We have named 3 guardians for our children in case we pass away (the guardians are in descending order, so the first has priority etc.). We ...
1
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2answers
517 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 ...
1
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1answer
63 views

Are there tests to apply to wills to check their validity?

What kinds of tests can one reasonably apply to wills to check to see that each stipulation holds up without going before a judge and can withstand a courtroom challenge?
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2answers
67 views

Making of a will

My father has made a will in favour of me but it has been got written from someone else but not written by my father himself although signed by him . I want to know whether it is a valid will and can ...
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2answers
137 views

Plain English Meaning Of Trust Language

Can someone please translate the paragraph means into plan English? The image is taken from a revocable trust.
1
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1answer
101 views

Can the executor of a will be the sole beneficiary?

In the United States, can the executor of a will be the sole beneficiary?
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2answers
80 views

Can beneficiaries be pursued for damages inflicted in life?

This is only for fictional literary research If a person confesses to a crime on their deathbed, one that caused unfathomable property damage and loss of life, will their heirs be forced to forfeit ...
1
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1answer
912 views

Timing of disclaimers for an inheritance vs. an interest in a trust? (USA)

Context Update The context is a trust and beneficiaries who disclaimed earlier did so to help another beneficiary. The ones who want to disclaim now also want to do so to help the same beneficiary. ...
1
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1answer
67 views

Special provisions in the will of a divorced parent

What special issues or topics might a divorced, custodial parent of a six year-old consider in writing a will? What issues or topics might become more important as the child gets older.