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A testator or testatrix is a person who creates a Last Will & Testament. Specifically, a testator refers to a male, and testatrix to a female will creator. Below, we’ll answer questions concerning testators/testatrixes, and their responsibilities in relation to will creation.
Why Should a Testator Create a Last Will & Testament?
The future is unpredictable. Anyone could meet their untimely demise at any time. If a testator or testatrix doesn’t have a Last Will & Testament, the task of dividing their estate falls to the courts. This scenario doesn’t just include bank accounts and property – a judge can also determine the custody of any minor children.
In short, a will acts as a person’s (or testator’s/testatrix’s) voice from beyond the grave.
When Should a Testator Draft a Will?
When a testator or testatrix acquires significant assets (e.g., a home, sizable investments, etc), they should strongly consider creating a Last Will & Testament. Once dependants enter the equation, a will is practically a necessity.
Nobody knows when their time on Earth is up. The division of assets/custody of children should not be left to the legal system. A will gives a testator or testarix the power to decide.
Does a Testator Need a Lawyer To Make a Will Legally-Binding?
No. In the past, experts strongly advised testators of a will to seek legal counsel, as information on will creation was not readily available. Today, the internet has made this info easily accessible. Those comfortable taking a DIY approach can now create a legally-binding will without lawyer involvement by choosing one of the best online will makers on the market.
Who Should a Testator Name in Their Will?
The vast majority of the time, a testator/testatrix will leave their estate to their family. However, they can name anyone they please as a beneficiary. They aren’t limited to naming people either – testators often leave money to charitable organizations and other bodies. In the past, there have even been cases of testators/testatrixes leaving their estate to their pets. Keep in mind that one of the biggest estate planning mistakes you can make is not listing alternative or backup beneficiaries in your will, so always try to name at least one alternative beneficiary for each asset you’re leaving.
What Does a Testator Need to Do to Produce a Will?
Drafting a will involves a great deal of thought. However, the will creation process has never been more straightforward. Numerous Last Will & Testament websites charge significantly less than lawyers.
Choosing a site is the most challenging part. However, this website makes the selection process a breeze, as we lay out each service’s strengths and weaknesses. By taking a couple of hours, testators can find one that fits their needs.
Once a testator selects a will creation service, they’ll input all the information their site asks for. This task involves the addition of beneficiaries, the executor, the guardian of any minor children, and other information into an easy-to-understand form.
One warning, though – it’s crucial that a testator is clear about who gets what. If they aren’t, their loved ones could end up fighting over their assets in court.
A Testator Must Sign Their Will To Make It Legally-Binding
A testator doesn’t need a lawyer to create a will. However, there are a few legal quirks they mustn’t ignore. First, to make their Last Will & Testament legally-binding, they must sign it. Not only that, but two witnesses must be present and sign it as well.
The witnesses cannot be beneficiaries or under the age of 18. Other than that, anybody can serve as a witness. Once signed and dated by all parties, a testator’s will becomes legally valid.