A final Will and testament is the most significant building block of every plan for the estate. The specifics of what you intend to happen to your property and other things at the time of your death will be outlined and clarified, but the degree to which it does so depends a lot on the type of estate plan you have decided to implement.

Was it a will-based plan or a trust-based plan? Depending on the type of testament you select, your final Will and testament will take on a drastically different role.

A Will-Based Estate Plan

Your will include all the required and important information of who will inherit your property with this form of plan for the estate. It should explain when and how they will inherit, and it will appoint an executor’s option, often called a personal representative. This is the person who will be responsible for settling your final matters and leading your estate through the probate process.

These four important points should be protected by your Will. You should also specify what powers you want your executive to have, and if you have minor children, answer a fifth essential question. Who will serve as their guardian until they are adults when their other parent precedes you or dies in a common case with you?

A Trust-Based Estate Plan

If you form a revocable living trust, it will cover the same four basic requirements as a will, but the person responsible for settling your final affairs will be named the administrative or successor trustee, rather than the executor or personal representative.

Your confidence-building documents will discuss the assets you have financed through your trust, but you’ll also need a last will and testament to be on the safe side.

Before you die, you must pass control of your properties to the name of your trust, so that your trust agreement can manage them. When only one asset is not funded into your trust, a will is mandatory to “mark” the unfunded asset and pass it to your trust when you die. This form of will is called a “pour-over will.” It will allow for any unfunded assets to pour back into your trust through the probate process after your death. Then the trust’s rules will decide which beneficiaries also get this land, and how and when they receive it.

Pour-over covers only two points. Who will be responsible for your properties which have not been funded into your trust and what powers does she have in this regard? Usually this will be the executor or personal representative named in your will for pour-over.

Like with a normal will, if you have any, a pour-over can also appoint a guardian for your minor kids. That can’t be done by your trust papers.

The Will Must Be Valid

Irrespectively of your type of Will, it must follow the laws and regulations of your country for a legitimate will or it will not be upheld by the tribunal of probate. In this scenario the outcome will be the same as if you hadn’t written a will at all.

Such rules will regulate certain seemingly trivial items that are nevertheless quite significant, such as how many witnesses you need to sign, and exactly how to sign. In addition, for errors in these areas, most “invalid” wills are considered such.

An invalid does not merely remove a given word or legacy. It will throw out the whole last will and testament, with all its clauses. It’s a good idea to always get your will checked by an solicitor if you write one on your own, or have your will first drawn up by an solicitor.