How To Execute A Will

A will allows a property owner to bequeath property to their family or friends once they die. Most families do not quite comprehend the will execution process. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to execute a will after the death of your loved one. 

Your first step is to locate the will. Usually, most people leave their wills in the custody of their lawyers or in a secure place such as their safes or a safe deposit box. Once you find the will, assess its authenticity. For instance, does it have witnesses? Is it an original copy? Read the contents of the will to establish the named executor(s). 

The executor's task is to file for probate. During probate, the judge assesses the validity of the will to ensure it meets the required legal standards. In some cases, slight or severe issues could crop up during probate. For instance, an interested party could dispute the will on the following grounds; 

  • They have another will with different conditions written by the same testator.
  • The testator had a mental illness that affected their judgement when drafting the will.
  • They are direct dependants of the testator who were excluded from the will.
  • The will has contracting clauses. 

There are several ways to solve a dispute. First, you could prove that the will provided to the court is authentic. Second, the disputing party could agree with other beneficiaries. For instance, they could opt to receive a share of the property rather than await a court ruling. Finally, the parties could await a court ruling if they cannot agree. 

The presence of a wills and estates attorney comes in handy during the will execution process. For instance, the lawyer could explain the implications of commencing court action to dispute the will. A protracted dispute could attract hefty legal charges that could take a significant part of the estate. In other cases, a dispute could negatively affect businesses under the deceased's estate. 

If the court does not find any problem with the will, the executor receives a grant of probate that gives them rights to the testator's property. Once this happens, the executor carries out the deceased's wishes to the letter. For instance, they settle estate debts and taxes, sell property, close bank accounts, and transfer property to the beneficiaries. Once the executor completes their duties, the will execution process is complete. 

This guide should make it easy to execute a will. A wills and estates lawyer should guide you through the ropes as you execute the document.