When it comes to planning your estate, it is wise to work with a seasoned attorney who is well-versed in state law and has experience executing estate planning documents. A Lincoln estate planning lawyer at Berry Law can help you formulate an appropriate strategy for creating your will, trust, advance directives, or other documents based on your goals. An experienced attorney can put together a plan that meets your individual needs.

Testate vs. Intestate

To execute a will in Lincoln, you must be 18 years of age or older and in full control of your mental faculties. If a will is signed under duress or by someone who is mentally incompetent, it is considered invalid. When someone dies, they pass away in one of two statuses — testate or intestate.

If someone passes away testate, this means that they executed a valid will in writing in the presence of two witnesses before their death. On the other hand, if someone passes away intestate, this means that they died without executing a will, or the will that they did execute is later determined by a court to be invalid.

It is then up to the court to determine how the person’s assets will be distributed, whereas an individual who dies testate has a valid will dictating how their assets will be disbursed to any named beneficiaries. By working with a Lincoln attorney to execute a will and other vital estate planning documents, you can ensure your beneficiaries will receive everything you left for them.

Vital Estate Planning Documents in Lincoln

A will is one of the most common estate planning documents a Lincoln lawyer can help draft. In a will, you can establish the executor for your estate, outline how you want assets to be distributed after death, and name the individual to whom any children under 18 will be entrusted in the event of an unexpected death. While a will does not need to be signed by a notary, it must be signed before two other witnesses.

A living will is also a vital estate planning document. In a living will, you can outline your wishes regarding healthcare if there comes a time when you cannot make these decisions on your own. For example, a living will discusses whether an individual’s family should utilize life-saving measures such as a breathing machine.

An attorney can help with other estate planning documents, such as trusts. A trust allows you to transfer your possessions to the care of a named trustee who will disburse your property to your heirs after death. Many people prefer a trust because it typically does not have to go through probate, which is the judicial process to prove a will. A person’s assets may have to go through probate if they die intestate or someone contests the will. A lawyer in Lincoln can help you create the estate planning documents most suitable for your specific situation.

Talk with a Lincoln Estate Planning Attorney

A Lincoln estate planning lawyer understands that these critical decisions about the future of your assets and loved ones can be stressful and emotional. One of our attorneys can help you establish a comprehensive estate plan that works for you specifically. To get started on your estate plan, contact Berry Law today and schedule a consultation.

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