Wills and Estates
Intergenerational Transfer (Trusts, Estates and Lasting Powers of Attorney)

Wills and Estates

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Our office handles all the issues of wills and realization of wills and inheritances, including inheritance orders and probate of wills, as well as inheritance redistribution agreements in the event that heirs seek to partition the inheritance differently than stated in the will or different than the division under the law, in the absence of a will.

A will is the expression of the wishes of a person regarding such person's property after following such person's demise. As long as a person is mentally competent to make a will, such person can amend or cancel the will at any time and an agreement on the contents of a will or a prohibition (including a limitation within a will) to change a will or cancel it will be unenforceable. Naturally, because the will is reviewed after the testator is no longer among the living, it is important for the will to be formulated is the clearest manner and by a professional in order to avoid future interpretive disputes as to the wording of the will. However, even a proper drafting of a will cannot prevent the less satisfied beneficiaries of the testator to attack the will and most of the testamentary legal disputes concern the capacity of the testator to make the will and allegations of procedural defects in the will.
A notarized will bears two major advantages over ordinary wills. One is the fact that the attestation of the notary public is sufficient evidence in legal proceedings without further evidence, as to compliance of the will with all procedural requirements and thus a notarized will create greater certainty as to the validity of the will in future legal disputes.
The second advantage is that the notary public keeps a numbered copy of the will in the notary public records and thus it is extremely difficult to fortify was signed by him and very limited possibility of forging the will after its creation.
Additionally, a notarized will is highly recommended when in case of a concern that someone might attempt to attack the will on the grounds of lack of legal capacity of the testator, i.e. a contention that the testator was not mentally competent at the time of making of the will. Because a notary public verifies the ability of the testator to perform the procedure, it is very difficult to attack a notarized will on such grounds. It is important to note that when the testator is hospitalized or bedridden a notarized will may not be made unless the notary public has first been given a medical certificate issued by a doctor on the day of the making of the will stipulating the mental capacity of the testator. Here, too, because the medical certificate is kept by the notary public together with the authenticated copy of the will, a record of the capacity of the testator is kept and it will be very difficult to attack the will on the grounds of lack of testator capacity.
As inheritance disputes are one of the major causes of conflicts within family members, one is advised to ensure a clearly drafted will with the assistance of a lawyer or notary public familiar with this area of law. Furthermore, it is highly recommended to make notarized will because a notarized will increases the certainty that the will cannot be attacked on grounds of lack of testator's capacity or procedural defects.

For more information on notarized wills, see the section on notarial wills and testaments. Note that the cost of a notarized signature is a separate cost from the cost of preparing the will itself.

Inter-generational transfer of a business

Inter-generational transfer of a business, especially a family business, is a complex issue that requires preparing the business for the next executive generation, avoiding family conflicts and a gradual transfer of the business holdings, or preparing a will or a testamentary trust documents for transferring the shares upon the demise of the business owner.

Trusts

Preparation of trusts and use as trustee for assets and transactions, including complex international transactions and including payment agent.

Lasting Power of Attorney

Preparing and signing of lasting powers of attorney