The Basics of a Last Will & Testament
Easy-to-Follow Testimonial Guidelines for Wisconsin Residents
Drafting your will is an important task everyone should take care of. Whether your estate is large or small, having a written document in place benefits you and the beneficiaries listed. Upon your death, you want to make sure your property and children are properly taken care of.
We’ve broken down the basics of creating your will; helping you understand what it contains and why it’s so important to have. Once you have an idea of what to include, consult the estate planning lawyers at Angermeier and Rogers for advice.
What is It?
Before we go further, let’s first define what a will and testament actually is. It is the naming of personnel, caring for your minor children and/or property upon your death. The person might also help carry out the will’s terms.
Such personnel listed in your will may include:
- Family members
- Personal representative
- Any other trusted person
Finalizing the Will
In order for your will to be official, you must sign your will in front of two witnesses. The two witnesses must also sign the document. Wisconsin’s regulations don’t require a notary present for legalization.
On the other hand, expediting the probate process does require a notary for the will. Instead of contacting the two witnesses, the will is automatically accepted from the court.
There are several times in your life you will need to update your will. Your will can be changed at any time, as long as there is a codicil. A codicil serves as a supplement; modifying or amending any part of the will. It also may serve as an alternative to a will.
Repealing or Canceling the Will
Your will can be revoked by creating a succeeding will, and/or literally destroying, burning, or shredding the document. This can be done by you the testator, or by someone else in your conscious presence. Either way, you must be present during termination.
Choosing to Go Without
If you choose not to draw up your last will and testament, you have no say in the matter of whom your estate goes to. Upon your death, the property is automatically distributed among your closest relatives, according to the intestacy law. Closest relatives include a living spouse, children, and/or surviving parents.
If none of the above are living, your property goes to the next relative in line. The state claims your property if there are absolutely no surviving relatives.
Last Will & Testament in a Nutshell
Creating your will isn’t a painstaking task, as we break down the rules to make it that much easier. Don’t rely on your age or health; it’s never too late to write a last will.
In summary, your will must include the following:
- Written in your own writing
- You must be 18 years or older
- A beneficiary named
- Your signature
- Two witnesses’ signatures
Extensive Knowledge from Wisconsin Will & Trust Attorneys
A secure future for you and your loved ones involves careful planning, cohesive content, and professional advice. Combining all three results in a path with the least resistance. Who doesn’t like the sound of that?
We at Angermeier and Rogers are here to serve our clients, guiding you through the twists and turns of creating a last will and testament. We answer your questions, recommend strategies, and provide a helping hand through the process. Our office locations in Cedarburg, Milwaukee, and Waukesha offer you travel convenience, reaching out to the bordering communities of Southeastern Wisconsin.
Our professional will attorneys also provide estate planning tips, asset-planning strategies, and other resources in personalized planning. There’s no better time for thinking ahead and establishing your future now.
Contact Angermeier & Rogers today for more information regarding wills and testaments.