A last will and testament is one of the most basic yet important estate planning documents available. A last will and testament direct how and where your assets are distributed at your death. Without a valid will in place, your assets will be distributed by a Mississippi probate court according to state law. The loved ones you want to receive your estate may not inherit your estate under Mississippi laws. Creating a valid last will and testament ensures that your property will be distributed according to your wishes after you pass away and not the state’s.
Reach Out to a Last Will and Testament Attorney in Mississippi
At Palmer & Slay, PLLC, we understand that decisions about your will and other issues related to your final years can be challenging to think about. Our experienced probate attorneys assist clients throughout Mississippi with the creation of customized estate plans. Contact Palmer & Slay, PLLC today to schedule an initial consultation to learn more about what type of planning is best for you.
The Benefits of Making a Mississippi Last Will and Testament
Taking the time to make a last will and testament can help you protect your family and your estate. You can use your last will and testament to leave your property to the people or organizations of your choice. You can also name a personal guardian to care for your minor children. In your will, you may appoint a trusted person to manage any property you leave to your minor children. Finally, you can name an executor who will ensure that the terms of your will are carried out after you pass away.
What Happens If I Don’t Make a Last Will and Testament?
If you pass away without a will, your property will be distributed according to Mississippi intestacy laws. Mississippi intestacy laws set forth how a person’s property should be distributed to family members. First, your spouse and children will inherit. If you don’t have a spouse or children, your parents, siblings or grandchildren may inherit your property. The list of heirs broadens from there and can often include people that you would not want to inherit from you. If there are no qualifying relatives, the state of Mississippi will take your property.
The Requirements for Making a Valid Last Will and Testament in Mississippi
Anyone age 18 or older who is of sound mind has a right to create a last will and testament in Mississippi. The person who creates the will, called the testator, must sign the will. In Mississippi, a will needs to be signed in the presence of at least two witnesses if the will wasn’t written entirely in the testator’s handwriting. The two witnesses must be disinterested, meaning they are not beneficiaries of the will or heirs under Mississippi’s intestacy statute. Finally, a Mississippi will generally must be in writing, unless the will meets specific requirements to be a valid nuncupative (oral) will.
Do I Need to Have My Will Notarized?
A person doesn’t need to have their will notarized to make it legal.
Revoking or Changing a Will in Mississippi
You can revoke your will at any time by destroying, canceling, or obliterating your will or ordering someone else to do so in front of you. You can also make a new will that revokes an old will. A will may be changed by signing a codicil, which is considered as an amendment to a valid will.
If you consider revoking or changing your will, we recommend discussing your situation with an experienced estate planning attorney. Your will is the controlling document at your death and there are a lot of intricate processes involved as well as complex legal issues that affect the validity or a will and how it operates. Often, client’s act without legal guidance and inadvertently do something that makes their will ineffective.
During the probate process, interested parties have a right to challenge the will on several different grounds. A person may challenge the will, claiming that the testator lacked the mental capacity to create a will. Others will contest claims involving fraud, undue influence, or state that a subsequent will supersedes the will being probated.
The Benefits of Working With an Experienced Probate Attorney
Many online services that assist people in writing their own last will and testaments have become popular. Unfortunately, these services may create problems for the testator down the road, which are only discovered after it is too late to fix. Only an experienced attorney can help you draft a will that effectively addresses all of your needs and goals. Additionally, there are a lot of issues involved in estate planning that the average person is not going to know how to address. Estate planning attorneys can also help you avoid any red flags to prevent will contests down the road and make sure that potential problems are adequately addressed in your will.
Discuss Your Estate Plan with a Last Will and Testament Attorney
Whether you’ve been named as the executor in your loved one’s will or you would like to create your own will, Palmer & Slay, PLLC, can help. Our experienced estate planning lawyers have helped many Mississippi residents create a valid last will and testament. When working with us, you can rest assured that your assets will be distributed to your loved ones according to your wishes. If you have any questions about a last will and testament, contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.