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Can You Pass This Quiz on Wills?

How much do you know about the basics of having a will?  The following quiz may help you.  When you are done, find the answers below.

Circle the correct answer:

1. Only one will is needed for a married couple.

 True                              False

2. Probate fees claim one-third of the estate of anyone dying without a will.

 True                              False

3.  If signed by an attorney, most states will recognize a handwritten will.

True                              False

4. By law, a codicil is the final execution that makes a will valid.

True                              False

5.  Only the attorney and executor are permitted to read your will after you die.

True                              False

The correct answer for all five questions is “false.”  The following explanations  may help you.

  1. Each person in a marriage needs a valid will, though the provisions can “mirror” each other.
  1. Statutory probate fees are not automatically assessed in such a proportion, although in the absence of a valid will, the state literally prescribes how will estate assets distributed.
  1. No state requires a will to be signed by an attorney.  Some states may recognized a handwritten will.
  1. The term “codicil” refers to a provision that amends one or more provisions of a valid will.
  1. With your permission, you may allow anyone to read your will at any time.  After death, a will admitted to probate will become part of the public record of your estate.

There is much more to learn more about wills and planning your estate, including your charitable provisions.  Request a free, no-obligation Wills Information Kit from the Columbus Jewish Foundation.  Feel free to call or email me at (614) 338-2365 or jjacobs@tcjf.org.

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

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