A will is a document that contains the last will of its owner (testator) and determines exactly how and by whom their property will be used in the event of death.
Making a will is an advisable choice for just about anyone who would like to avoid disagreements and confusion. An elaborate and effectively written last will and testament can be important to all your family members and relatives upon your passing, even when you don’t possess lots of estate.
Here, you’ll find a Massachusetts last will and testament form for download and the tips intended to remove your slightest questions pertaining to property planning, different types of last will, and the ways to create a valid document.
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|Statutes||Chapter 190B – Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code; Article II – Intestacy, Wills and Donative Transfers|
|Signing requirement||Two witnesses||Section 2–502. [Execution of Wills]|
|Age of testator||18 or older||Section 2–501. [Who May Make Will]|
|Age of witnesses||18 or older||Section 2–505. [Who May Witness]|
|Self-proving wills||Allowed||Section 2–504. [Self–Proved Will.]|
|Handwritten wills||Recognized if witnessed according to the state law||Section 2–502. [Execution of Wills.|
|Oral wills||Recognized if meeting certain conditions|
|Holographic wills||Not recognized||Section 2–502. [Execution of Wills]|
|Depositing a will||Possible with a Massachusetts county probate court A fee is $75||Section 2–515. [Deposit of Will With Court in Testator’s Lifetime]|
The primary distinction between these two documents is that when you have passed away, the representative you appoint through power of attorney loses their legal authority to take care of any matters in your place.
Among various power of attorney types, the two following ones are considered main:
An executor is a person you assign in your will to manage your matters after you depart this life. It is possible to name one person to act as an attorney-in-fact and will executor.
Massachusetts law affirms that a last will can be valid without getting a notary public to authorize it. However, you could make your will self-proving by adding an affidavit to it, and you will need to go to a notary if you wish to make it happen. Making your will self-proving might be a good choice since it quickens the probate and gives another layer of certainty in the event the will’s validity is doubted.
A holographic last will is handwritten. To be valid, this document needs to be completely in the handwriting of the testator, dated and signed by him or her, and witnessed according to the state law. Bear in mind that this kind of a will is typically created when there’s no other option and is normally replaced by a more thorough document made with the aid of a fillable last will form or attorney at law. Holographic last wills can include unclear directions and may leave vital provisions out, so they are harder to enforce and can delay the probate significantly. That’s why it might be a better idea to go with the second solution that we discuss below.
An attested last will is generally typed since it is commonly made by a legal professional or is based on a will form, like the one you may download from us. To be considered valid, it must be signed by the testator and two trusted witnesses older than 18 in the testator’s presence, which can also be done in the presence of a notary public. But, the latter isn’t required in Massachusetts.
The testator has to fulfill testamentary capacity requirements in order to create and alter their last will, including being of sound mind.
There’re usually two requirements to meet: soundness of mind and age. In the majority of states, you have to be over 18 years old to create a last will. Soundness of mind ensures that you are conscious of your estate and the heirs of your possessions and fully understand the consequences of your doings.
It isn’t strictly required in Massachusetts. However, in case you decide to include a self-proving affidavit, it’ll be quite beneficial given that the document functions as a substitute for in-court testimony of witnesses during probate.
If you wish to disinherit your spouse, in Massachusetts, it is allowed. There is not such concept as a community property (also known as marital property). It is a kind of interest documentation provided by the systems of law that claims that 50 % of all properties and assets (along with arrears) of one marriage partner is owned by another and stays such upon divorce.
Massachusetts law permits you to cut your spouse out of your last will and testament completely, but your marriage partner will be admitted of owing a certain minimum number of your assets.
With regard to other members of your family, it’s possible to legally disinherit anybody else. By including certain disinheritance sections to your will, you’ll be able to leave your adult children or other members of the family out from getting any of the properties and assets.
No, only you can change your will. There is one particular case when a third party can be involved. If you’re physically incapable of signing your will, a third party can do so in your stead yet only with you present.
Yes, you can.
In Massachusetts, if you haven’t entered into a contract mentioning the opposite, you’re allowed to repeal or alter your last will at any time.
It’s recommended to revise your will if a major event happens in your life. These include but aren’t limited to:
Massachusetts law claims that a will can be admitted if it is lost or destroyed. However, nothing but the initial version of the will can be accepted by the probate court.
In accordance with Massachusetts law, the will’s absence can be regarded as its annulment. That means the trustee will have to prove the will’s legality, which may be very complicated.
Things get a lot more troublesome when considering a holographic last will. To prove its validity, the court will demand testimony and sword witnesses. Other than that, you will also have to provide proof of as to why the last will and testament and its details can’t be provided in a way that will also prove it wasn’t canceled.
Only per your directive and in your presence is another person allowed to sign your last will and testament (See Massachusetts Estate Code). The person who wrote the will can express his or her wishes in a verbal manner, by answering positively to a question, or with body gestures.
You can get a notary to sign the name of a testator that is physically incapable of doing it in case the latter directs the notary public in the presence of a witness. This witness is chosen the same way one could select a trustee – they mustn’t have any legal or equitable interest in any assets that are the focus of or affected by the will.
|Related documents||When to create it|
|Codicil||Your last will needs one or a few small changes.|
|Self-proving affidavit||You want the probate to be easier when it’s necessary.|
|Living will||You want to make sure your end-of-life treatment is carried out according to your wishes.|
|Living trust||You would like to skip probate by having your assets in a trust.|