Types of Wills
Wills are executed in conformity with state law. All states recognize a typewritten will that contains signatures of witnesses. Some states require a notarized signature. Handwritten wills and oral wills are recognized by only a handful of states.
The will's executor must accomplish the will's instructions under supervision by the probate court. The court may require time-consuming activities such a complete inventory of the estate's assets with an estimate of value for each item. Often an executor must sell real estate before distributing assets to the beneficiaries.
Assets with deeds, titles or designated beneficiaries are not distributed through a will. An IRA that names a specific person as beneficiary may be distributed quickly. If the IRA names the estate as beneficiary, however, the probate process will delay the distribution.
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