The origin of the word testament stands in the Latin word testari and means taking testimony, to designate.
A will is a legal and formal document by which a person called testate names one or more heirs, in order for them to inherit his properties or to ensure the execution of his will after death. The formal title of the document is known as “Last Will and Testament”.
There are different types of wills and testaments like the „holographic” will, for example. The „holographic” or handwritten wills are entirely handwritten by the testator’s hand, from the date till the signature. Usually, they don’t require witness validation.
The notarial will is authenticated by a civil-law notary. The testator should dictate its provisions before a notary, who will write the document and read it to him, or by case, will hand it to the testator to read it himself, specifically mentioning these formalities. In case the testator is deaf, mute, or deaf-mute, before the signature he will have to mention his consent to the document.
- The mystic will is sealed until the testator’s death.
- The unsolemn will doesn’t reveal the executor’s name.
- The will in solemn form is when the document is signed by the testator and also by witnesses.
- A reciprocal or husband and wife will is a will made by two or more parties, usually by spouses, which make provisions in favor of each other.
A will may not be revoked expressly, all or in part, only if there is an authentic notarial document or a subsequent will.
The testator may revoke his holographic will by destroying it, breaking, or deleting it. Deleting a single provision from the holographic will means that the testator will have to revoke that provision and sign what he wiped.
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How much does it cost to do your will?
In case you have just a few beneficiaries or modest assets you can do your will without an attorney. For example, you can do a holographic will.
For about $19 – $32, you can buy books from Nolo Press with advice concerning a will or for $50 a computer software that will help you do your will. There are many online services that can provide you minimal assistance for about $10 to $60. It is not recommended to use a one-size-fits-all form if your will is a larger and complicated one.
In general, the American Bar Association provides a list for each state with legal resources, meaning free or low-cost legal assistance for low-income people.
An attorney charges from $60 up to $300 per hour, but the American Bar Association affirms that there are also many lawyers that charge a flat fee for a will, just that it varies depending on the state. For example, an attorney from Maryland charge for a basic will $150 and $250 for a complex will, with an hourly rate at $185, while an attorney from Seattle charges $600 just for a simple will and $225 fee per hour.
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The purpose of such a legal document is to assure that the spouse, children, or any other descent or inheritor will benefit from the testator’s goods how he wanted in his will.
Should the average working Joe get a will?
Seeing that you can make one for free or get it done for cheap, having a will is a great idea, especially if you don’t want your family to have a hard time splitting your belongings after you pass away. If you don’t have a lot of things to leave behind, then you should consider writing a will yourself, to avoid spending unnecessary money.