A Little Quiz About Wills

The following True or False quiz will help you measure how much you know – or don’t know – about having a will.

True      False                 Most states will honor a hand-written will as long as it is signed by an attorney.

True      False                 A married couple only needs to have one will.

True      False                 If a person dies without a will, the state automatically takes one-half of the estate for probate fees.

True      False                 It is illegal to open and read a deceased person’s will until after the funeral.

True      False                 A “codicil” is the stamped impression that makes a will valid.

All of the answers are false.

While some states may recognize a handwritten will, no state requires that a will must be signed by an attorney.

Each partner in the marriage should have his or her own will.

While it is true that the state, in the absence of a valid will, dictates the disposition of the estate, it certainly does not automatically receive half the amount. However, if you die with no will, there may be a large increase in probate costs.

A will can be opened and read any time after death, or earlier with appropriate permission.

A “codicil” is an addendum added later to a previously prepared will.

To learn more about wills and other estate planning matters, request your free Will Information Kit at (614) 338-2365 or jjacobs@tcjf.org, with no obligation. If you would like to discuss a planned gift for the Jewish community’s benefit, I will guide you and zealously guard your confidences.

Article appears as originally published in the Ohio Jewish Chronicle Thursday September 7, 2017.

Jackie Jacobs is the Chief Executive Officer of the Columbus Jewish Foundation, the Central Ohio Jewish community’s planned giving and endowment headquarters.

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