Estate Planning is often complicated, and it can be even more so when you’re trying to do it for someone else. But with the right guidance, and with some knowledge of your (and their) rights and the law, it is possible to create a Will for someone else, like a loved one. In fact, it may help you to know that it’s actually fairly common.
Does someone you care about need to create or update their Will? Time is of the essence - so read on to learn:
Can You Create a Will for Someone Else?
Yes, you can create a Will for someone else. We actually see people do this quite often. For example, married couples may create Wills for one another. It’s common enough that Trust & Will offers a shared account for those who hope to speed the process along.
Shared accounts are a great solution if you have combined finances or assets. It’s important to note, though, if you have a prenup, discrete finances or any other financial concerns, you may want to create individual accounts.
How Do I Create a Will for Someone Else?
Even if you are the one creating the Will, the person for whom the Will is created (the "Testator") will always need to review and approve the document and execute the Will. Creating a Will for someone else can help make the process faster, but ultimately the Testator must execute the Will to make it valid.
Types of Trust & Will Accounts
Trust & Will makes it easy to set up different types of accounts, depending on what’s best-suited for your needs and situation.
Shared Spouse Account
If you’re creating a Will for your spouse and want to use a shared experience to save time, choose "me and my spouse" in the signup.
Non-Shared Individual Account
If you’re creating a Will and don't want to use the shared experience, or if you’re creating a Will for somebody else, choose "just me" in the signup. Each person for whom a Will is created (the "Testator") will need a separate account.
Remember, if you’re creating a Will for someone else, the information is relative to them, as the Testator. So if you create a Will for your parents, you would list yourself and any siblings as children.
Creating a Will for Someone with Dementia
Many people have questions about creating a Will for those with special needs and adults with dementia. The most important thing to remember is it may not be too late to put something in place. But you should act sooner than later to avoid potential questions and complications down the road.
For Wills to be valid, they must be signed by an adult who is deemed to have what’s known as “testamentary capacity.” This simply means he or she can understand what is being signed. If there is any question about this after death, a Will or Trust may be contested, resulting in long and potentially costly delays. If the question about competency is serious enough, a Will may be found invalid. The best way to prevent this is by completing a Will as soon as possible. If there are concerns, a video of the Will signing may be a good option.
Creating a Will for Your Spouse
Many married couples opt to create one Will for both parties. Even when married couples choose to create two separate Wills, it’s still not all that uncommon for one spouse to outline and create the majority of the documents.
If this is the route you take, it’s essential for both partners to review everything before anyone signs. You should still have discussions and be involved with each other’s plan.
Creating a Will for Your Child
While it’s typically not necessary to create an actual Will for your child or children, you should consider setting up your own Estate Plans to prepare for the unthinkable. If both parents are to pass away at the same time, an Estate Plan that establishes a Trust for minor children is smart.
A Trust can hold all inherited assets and directions for how children are to benefit until they become legal adults (or until another established time in their life).
For example, you could state that a child has limited access to his or her Trust to cover their needs, but then has full access when they reach a certain age, upon marriage, upon graduation from college, or upon any other milestone in life. You could also set provisions so that a child may have limited access for needs until gaining full access at a certain age. Creating a Trust means you can be confident you’ve set up the ones you love most for the future, even if you’re not there to oversee it.
If you’re setting up a Will for a loved one who is over the age of 18, remember, you ALWAYS want to have that person review everything and sign any documents. Once you enter all the information for the Testator, give him or her the opportunity to review the Will and confirm it correctly states every decision and desire. After this is done, he or she will then need to execute their new Will as detailed on the instructions page provided.