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Simple Will question

Discussion in 'Estate Planning, Creating Wills & Trusts' started by Appalachia, Apr 16, 2019.

  1. Appalachia

    Appalachia Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I live in Tennessee and I am married. Everything I own, house, car and bank accounts are in joint accounts with my wife. I am however still wondering if I need to make a separate will to make sure that if something happens everything will go to her or if this will be enough.

    Also is there a free temple that I could follow for writing my own will which I could have notarized and signed by 2 witnesses? I have no children It is just me and my wife.

    Thank you
  2. flyingron

    flyingron Active Member

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    If you have no children, the laws of intestate succession say that without a will your wife would get everything, but it's cleaner if you have a will. Though you may have the house and other major assets in ownership forms that provide the wife survivorship rights, wills are commonly used to sweep up any remaining personal property or assets that fall through the cracks.

    The other reason to have a will is what do you want to happen if your wife passes before you?

    While I don't know of "free" templates, they're available online (or sometimes at local office supply stores) for less than $30. The will must be signed by you and the witnesses together (the witnesses can not be beneficiaries of the will). Notarization isn't strictly required, but couldn't hurt.
  3. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Everything? So you don't any clothes or furniture or jewelry?

    While it may be that all of your significant assets are owned jointly with your wife, everything you own is most certainly not jointly owned. That being the case, you need to think about the things that aren't jointly owned with the right of survivorship. If you die without a will, those things will be governed by your state's law of intestate succession. Under Tennessee law, if you die without a will and are survived by a spouse and no issue (i.e., children, grandchildren, etc.), then your spouse will inherit your entire estate.

    In my opinion, if you die before your wife, a will may be unnecessary. However, I agree with the prior response that a will is a good idea to provide for what happens if your wife dies before you.

    I'm sure there are hundreds of free samples/templates that you can find with a simple google search. Whether using something like that would be a good idea is an iffy proposition at best. Notarization isn't necessary. If you decide to do this on your own, I strongly suggest that you google something like "tennessee will requirements." Otherwise, you and your wife could be creating costly problems for yourselves.
  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    What do you believe the VALUE of EVERYTHING you own?

    Is your spouse's name and yours the ONLY names on any real estate you own?

    Are you worried about adult children inheriting anything?

    Tennessee law says: when the estate is valued at less than $50,000, an interested party may (your spouse), forty-five (45) days after the death of the decedent, file with the clerk of court a small estate affidavit, and proceed to use said affidavit to collect any debts owed to the decedent.

    If you have life insurance policy naming ONLY your spouse, only your spouse will receive that benefit.

    If you have pension(s) naming your spouse as your beneficiary, ONLY your spouse will receive those funds.

    If you and your spouse are named properly on bank accounts, ONLY your spouse will receive that money.

    Unless you're with $500,000, $5,000,000; or more, you have very little to worry you.

    If you want to draft a will, there are thousands of templates available online.

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