There are many reasons why you should have a will in place. As noted in prior posts, estate planning is not only for the wealthy. A properly drafted, enforceable will is important for anyone who wants a say in how their assets are distributed or how they would like to provide for their children in the future.
- Cornerstone. A will speaks only at death and is the cornerstone of most estate plans.
- Probate. A will must go through state probate court, and individuals have an opportunity to contest it, so it is a good idea to consult with an attorney to ensure your will is drafted properly and to increase the likelihood it will be enforced.
- Spousal share. It is generally not possible to disinherit a spouse. Most states, including Connecticut, have laws that entitle a spouse to a spousal share. In Connecticut, the statutory share is a life estate of one third of the value of all of the property passing under the deceased spouse’s will.
- Will challenges. It is very difficult to challenge and overcome a properly drafted and executed will. If a party chooses to challenge the validity of a will, they will generally have to attack the validity of the will itself, on one of two grounds, either the testator (a) lacked the mental capacity necessary for creating a valid will, and/or (2) created the will under duress or other undue influence.
It is advisable to consult with an attorney to create a properly drafted will that will increase the likelihood of its enforceability.
For assistance with any legal matters related to your business or estate planning, contact Fournier Legal Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or 860.670.3535 now for a free consultation and planning session.
Joseph E. Fournier is an Attorney and a CPA who has more than twenty years of experience in a variety of business legal matters, including start-ups and company formations, drafting shareholder and operating agreements, contracts, employment law, commercial litigation, tax planning and audit defense, and mergers and acquisitions (M&A). He also handles estate planning matters, such as business succession planning, wills, trusts, and probate.