What is a Will
A Will is a document that clearly states the desires regarding the distribution of equity after a death. It is important to understand that you have to meet specific legal requirements for the Will to be valid. Intestate is the legal process if someone dies without a Will. Intestate dictates that all assets are divided by applicable local laws regardless of the decedent’s wishes. In other words, no one may assert what they believe to be the desires of the decedent nor prevent distribution according to the intestate law.
Who Should Make a Will
We recommend that everyone 18 years old and older create a Will as soon as possible. It is even more important to create a Will following a marriage, a divorce or if you are in a de facto relationship with a same-sex partner. Traveling, having children, buying a home or other valuable assets are other reasons why you should have a Will. Moreover, we advise that you revise your Will every five years or if your personal situation changes.
What Should You Take Into Account When Making a Will
- You should first list all goods and persons to whom you would like to bestow your belongings.
- Next you should chose a person to administer your estate in your passing. This person is called your Executor/Executrix. Please note that it is important to choose a responsible and competent representative of your Will that can speak to your desires when you are gone.
- Lastly, you should clarify at what age your children should receive their share of the distribution/goods.
Who Should I Appoint as My Executor/trix
An Executor/trix is a person that must distribute your assess. It is ideal to chose a person that understands the financial, tax and legal implications, but this is not necessary. Many Executors/trix have no financial or legal preparation at all. Though, if you do not have legal training, you should hire an attorney as probate is complex and errors can be costly and cause delays.
Can I Make a Will by Myself
Many countries allow you to write you own will. Though we Never recommend that you do so. There are too many risks. When you pass away, your heirs will need to declare that you have passed. They will then need to administer the distribution of your estate. This process can be daunting even if you do not have a large estate. A Will you write yourself risks not meeting requirements.
How can you make a Will if you are abroad?
Every Will must conform to the laws that control the assets of the Will. For example, all Wills in the U.S.A. or that contain property held in America must be:
1.) proven to be created by the decedent,
2.) of his or her free will, and
3.) made while the decedent is of sound mind.
However, any Will that might be reviewed in America should also be notarized by American notarial requirements. We strongly advise that any Will signed or notarized outside of the U.S.A., be notarized at an American Consulate. Italian notaries are not accepted to authenticate Wills in America. Private American notaries abroad or online notarial services are equally unacceptable.
The drafting of a Will is a technical and often complex process. Grieving family members sometimes endure delays when the Judge must interpret the Will because it was not written clearly. A professional drafting will ensure that your intentions are expressed in clear terms. These terms avoid any other interpretations of the Will. Why risk your family needing to deal with bureaucracy in this difficult time.