Three Types of Wills
Wills and trusts are important legal documents that specify how an estate is to be distributed after death, helping to reduce stress among family at a time when they are feeling grief and sadness.
There are several different types of wills that can be written to detail someone’s wishes for how their property and other assets are split among their loved ones. Today, the attorneys of Froerer & Miles would like to highlight three types of wills commonly used by people in Ogden, UT, Layton, UT, and surrounding areas.
A simple will is one of the most common forms of wills. They’re called “simple” because they typically have few clauses, making them less complicated than many other types of wills.
Simple wills are often effective for smaller estates. The person writing the will, known as the testator, can use a simple will to name who will receive which assets and name a representative for their estate. If there are minor children, a guardian may be named in a simple will. A simple will may be written with the help of an attorney or by the testator themself.
Testamentary Trust Will
Also called a “will trust,” a testamentary trust will is a type of will that establishes a trust after the testator’s death. Assets are placed in the trust and distributed according to the instructions of the will.
This type of will may be a good option for those who want to control when assets are distributed to their beneficiaries. However, it should be noted that testamentary trust wills must go through probate before distributions are made.
Holographic wills are handwritten wills, which may be necessary in life-threatening situations when a more formal will was not put in place.
Holographic wills must be entirely in the testator’s handwriting and signed by the testator. A family member, close friend, or handwriting expert may need to prove that the handwriting is the testator’s during probate.
Holographic wills should have language to clearly state the testator’s intent, such as “I give” a specified item or asset to a specified person.
Utah Requirements for Wills
Utah law has several requirements for wills. Requirements include:
- The will must be in writing.
- The testator must be 18 years of age or older.
- The testator must be of sound mind.
- The will must be signed by the testator or signed in the testator’s name by someone else if instructed to do so by the testator and in their presence.
- At least two witnesses must sign the will after witnessing the testator sign the will. However, this requirement does not apply to holographic wills.
Contact the Attorneys of Froerer & Miles
Wills can be changed any time prior to death and should be reviewed periodically to make sure that the will is still in line with your wishes.
If you need help drafting or reviewing your will or would like to discuss other estate planning options, call our Ogden law firm at (801) 621-2690 or contact us online.