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Wills

Experienced Georgia Trust and Estates Attorney Drafts Your Last Will and Testament

Warner Robins estate planning lawyer helps you prepare your family for the future

A will is essential at every stage of your life, providing you with the opportunity to distribute your property and otherwise express your wishes for what will happen upon your death. A will is necessary if you intend to leave property to someone who is not your blood relative, e.g., a domestic partner, a friend or a charity. If you die without a will, the court determines how your property is distributed, who cares for your beloved pet — and the decisions the court makes might not reflect your desires. Hynes Family Law Center, LLC can draft a valid will that accurately conveys your intentions so your final wishes will be honored.

What constitutes a valid Will?

Wills are not difficult to execute, but simple mistakes can render them invalid in whole or in part. Essential elements of a valid will include:

  • Intent — The testator must intend that the document created be a Last Will and Testament at the time it is created. Therefore, the testator must have capacity, meaning sound mind and comprehension, and the testator must create the Will voluntarily, without coercion, compulsion or undue influence.
  • Proper execution — A traditional will is written, signed by the testator and either affirmed by a disinterested witness or a self-proving affidavit. A disinterested witness is one who does not stand to gain by the execution of the Will. An example of a self-proving affidavit is a holographic will, which is written with the testator’s own hand, and proven by handwriting analysis. Modern technology also allows for holographic wills made with video recording devices. This is NOT a proper Will in Georgia and will not be honored by the Probate Court in this State.
  • Clear language — A statement within a Will which is confusing or open to various interpretations can allow a Will to be challenged. A “Codicil” to a Will is simply an Addendum to the Will, adding something to it rather than making an entirely new Will. Codicils are troublesome and may potentially and unintentionally cause your Will to become difficult to probate. Be sure to discuss this with your Attorney.

An error in the execution of your will can cause confusion in the court and rancor among your heirs. To make sure that your wishes can be carried out, let Hynes Family Law Center, LLC draft a valid Will.

Reviewing and changing your Will

As your life unfolds, your circumstances change and your concerns may shift. To remain current, you should review and update your Will every three to five years. I review your Will in light of your current finances, marital status and family situation.

Creating an optimal estate plan

Drafting an effective Will is more involved than drafting a valid Will. Hynes Family Law Center, LLC works closely with you to identify your legacy goals and advise you on the best means to achieve them. Sometimes, this means conveying assets via a Will. At other times, disposing of assets via a Will triggers estate taxes, sharply diminishing the value of the bequest. Often, when discussing financial and real estate assets, I uncover liability exposure that raises doubts about whether those assets could survive even a short run of bad luck. It is then that I discuss the need for a comprehensive estate plan, including a variety of trusts, that can protect your wealth for enjoyment during retirement, then transfer it seamlessly to your heirs without estate tax issues.

Contact a thorough estate planning lawyer for your Will

Hynes Family Law Center, LLC drafts effective Wills and comprehensive estate plans for clients in Warner Robins and throughout Georgia. Isn’t it time you executed a Will or reviewed an existing Will? Call me at 478-666-6052 or contact my office online to schedule a consultation at our Warner Robins office.

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Our Office
  • Warner Robins Office
    96 Tommy Stalnaker Drive
    Suite A
    Warner Robins, Georgia 31088
    Phone: 478-971-1877
    Fax: 478-971-1878