It is not only important to have a will but it is also important that the will is valid and will accomplish the estate planner’s wishes after they are gone. As a result, it is helpful for estate planners to know what makes a valid will.
What makes a will valid can vary by state but there are several requirements that are typically required for a will to be valid. The estate planner must be of legal age to enter into a will which is usually 18 years old. Secondly, the estate planner must have testamentary capacity and be of sound mind when entering a will. This means that the estate planner knows they are making a will and understands the effect of the will to dispose of property and assets and also understands the nature and extent of their estate.
Other requirements for a valid will include the intent to make a revocable distribution of property in the event the estate planner passes and that the estate planner must execute the will voluntarily. There cannot be any duress or undue influence in the creation or execution of the will for it to be valid. In addition, there are important signature and witness requirements that must be met which can also vary by state. Estate planners need to be familiar with the signature and witness requirements in their state.
When estate planning, it is important to keep these will requirements in mind to ensure that the estate planner’s will complies with all of the legal requirements for a will to be valid where they live. Doing so will provide peace of mind that their will, as drafted and executed, will accomplish their wishes for property distribution and that their loved ones will be cared for as they intended.