What are Wills and Estates Darwin? A will is a legal document prepared by an individual, enabling one of many beneficiaries to use their estate as they see fit. In a will, the grantor’s wishes about the use of the estate are recorded. Will is a term used commonly but often with varying meanings. Here we’ll discuss the most common uses and some variations.
A will can be made in the courts by a person or through the services of a lawyer. Most attorneys offer wills and estate planning services. While the word “will” refers to the legal document itself, it also has additional meaning. In many cases, a will is a document that names the estate agents – the executor or personal representative, the administrator, the property custodian, and the personal representative. It also names the beneficiaries (also known as representatives) who receive the assets after the deceased person’s death.
Another way to look at Wills and Estates Darwin is to think of them as a series of trust-like documents. There are several types of wills: express, implied, living trust, and revocable or living trusts and each type serves different purposes in estate planning situations.
Express will state what the intent of the document is. Intended for the benefit of all beneficiaries, express will seldom include a provision allowing for intestate recovery. An intestate recovery clause allows an individual who receives money from the estate of a deceased relative to recover debts from the deceased’s estate. This is referred to as a remainder judgment.
Indirect wills are another type of will. Like express wills, indirect will commonly specify the beneficiaries and other terms associated with the distribution of the estate. However, unlike express wills, the language in an indirect will does not indicate what the testator intends. However, the document does provide for the trustee to act in the best interests of all beneficiaries under the will (referred to as the beneficiary trust). Again, it is important to be aware that this section may vary depending on where the will is executed.
Living trusts, also known as revocable trusts, are another option in estate planning. Unlike living trusts, the language in a living trust does not limit the beneficiary’s ability to recover debts. Rather, the trust includes a provision requiring a trustee to care for the decedent’s debts (the debt provision). Because of this, the language is a living trust that is much less restrictive than that in wills. In addition, the testator can specify how the funds will be dispersed – whether by state lottery winnings, gifts, inheritance, stock sales, among others.
In contrast, a testamentary trust is a will that merely creates a document that serves as a living trust. Testimonials from others, a description of the testator’s intentions and information regarding the testator’s estate are all that is required in the testamentary trust. Once executed, the trust document becomes a legally binding agreement between the testator and the person or entity designated to receive the property after the decedent’s death. As with the testator’s will, the testamentary trust is not limited in what it can accomplish. It is also important to realize that although the testamentary trust technically remains a legal document, it has no practical effect on the decedent’s property. Rather, it exists merely as a document to be signified by a notary public.
Several other types of wills and intestate laws may affect the beneficiary of a Will or Estate. Intestate succession laws refer to who inherits an intestate estate (i.e., the intestate property). Another type of estate is termed a “personal representative”. It is used when one person lives substantially longer than another and passes away without having any testator to carry on the estate. An example of a personal representative would be a child or grandchildren. The last and most complex form of a will is called a codicil and essentially is a compact document that tells whom (who is the assets will go to once the testator has died.
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