What is a Last Will and Testament


A New Hampshire Last Will and Testament, when prepared and executed properly by a person who is an adult of sound mind with legal responsibility for his- or herself, is a formal document that specifies how their assets or estate will be managed and distributed after their death. The person who dies is formally referred to as the decedent. If the decedent has minor children, the Last Will and Testament may also be used to designate who they want to care for their children and who they wish to handle their childrenís inheritance/finances until each child comes of age (usually 18, but you can designate a different age) to handle their finances on their own.

In a Last Will and Testament, the decedent usually also names a personal representativeóor co-personal representatives (two or more persons acting together in this capacity)óto manage the matters of the estate. The personal representative is the person who gathers all of the information about the decedentís debts and assets, pays outstanding debts using the assets on behalf of the estate, and ensures that the decedentís property is distributed as specified in the Will, so this is a job with a lot of responsibility, and the personal representative selected is usually someone the decedent really trusts to follow through on the details and with his or her wishes.

If a person dies without having a valid Last Will and Testament (which usuallyóin most statesómeans it must be properly witnessed, as wellónot just signed), someone will usually be appointed by the court to be the personal representative and will pay the decedentís debts, liquidizing assets as necessary to do so. Then the remaining assets will be distributed among the decedentís heirs according to the laws of the state the decedent lived in.

In some states, if one spouse dies leaving behind a husband or wife, that living spouse will inherit all of the decedentís property in the absence of a Last Will and Testament stating to the contrary. In other cases, the decedent may have specified a particular beneficiary to inherit a life insurance policy, retirement account, or other asset, and that beneficiary designation will dictate who receives those assets in the absence of a New Hampshire Last Will and Testament.

The important thing to note is that anyone who wishes to designate how their assets will be distributed after their death should prepare and properly execute a Last Will and Testament to ensure their wishes are known and honored. If they donít, they may be leaving it up to chance, the laws of the state in which they reside at the time of their death, or a court of law as to how their final affairs will be settled.  New Hampshire free information on last will and testament forms.

Legal Requirements for Last Wills in New Hampshire

In the United States, as in other countries, making a Last Will and passing on an inheritance is a common practice. In New Hampshire, several laws and regulations are primary because these norms allow quickly making the Last Will and executing it. In general, the Last Will guarantees the transfer of property to the heirs specified in the testator's document. As a rule, this process falls under the court's jurisdiction.

Remember, ignorance of the requirements leads to incorrect drafting of the document and its cancellation. Therefore, prepare for this process seriously and responsibly.

The Last Will is a document in which a person disposes of their property in the event of death. This person determines exactly how and between which people their property, debts, and rights should be divided. The Last Will takes effect only after death. Unlike other contracts, it does not grant rights during the life of the owner.

Indeed, the Last Will has more possibilities than it seems. One paper with your signature and a notary stamp can deprive even the closest relative of property, allow you to transfer everything to a neighbor, impose restrictions and obligations on the heirs.

In New Hampshire, this document is not mandatory since it is everyone's choice (to whom and how to give the inheritance). However, if you want your children, spouse, or other close people to receive your property, prepare a document with your representative. You do not have to transfer your assets and real estate to direct heirs, as you may create a trust for any person, give everything to charity. If you have minor children, you need to note the guardians in the Will. The same goes for pets.

Requirements for the Last Will

Firstly, the Last Will must be submitted to the court within 30 days after the testator's death. Within six months, the heirs enter into the inheritance, and the property is in the so-called "open" position. After the expiration of this period, the beneficiaries receive the property. New Hampshire has an expedited and simplified application system written into the laws.

Secondly, if a person has died and left no Will, other rules of inheritance apply. The surviving spouse receives the entire estate if the testator has no children. If there are direct heirs, the property is divided according to the Will. They may also receive an inheritance:

  • Parents of the deceased

  • Relatives

  • Friends

  • Third parties

By the way, the amount of inheritance by the surviving spouse is equal to 250 thousand dollars and half of the remaining property. As a rule, there are exceptions, according to which not all property can be transferred. Indeed, property with the right of inheritance and money received under life insurance and pensions are not subject to inheritance.

Thirdly, the testator must be of legal age (18 years and older) and sound mind. The document is also valid if the person is less than 18 years old and married. The Last Will must include the signatures of all parties (testator, witnesses, and personal representative) in writing. Another key point is oral Wills. Only soldiers, sailors of active military service can draw up this type of document.

Change and Revocation of the Will

Regardless of the time and circumstances, everyone can cancel their Will or change it. To do this, you must notify the personal representative and the relevant structures (the court). Besides, keep in mind that in the event of a divorce, some provisions regarding the spouse are annulled.



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