Since your will is your final chapter, you are going to want to guarantee that it is valid so that your wishes get carried out. Try and stay away from these common mistakes to guarantee your document is indisputable.
Creating a will enables you to decide what happens to all of your personal possessions and assets following your passing away. In that regard, the document serves as your last communication to your family members and loved ones, meaning you want to guarantee that it is going to be backed so that your wishes get carried out.
On the other hand, many wills are not as ironclad as many would like. Therefore, it’s important to guarantee your will cannot be disputed. Below are some common oversights that could make your will invalid.
Creating a Holographic Will
A holographic will is a will that is handwritten not having any witnesses present. Many states deem this to be a valid will, whereas others do not. When you really want to create this type of will, do some research and verify whether it is deemed valid in your state.
Not Having the Proper Witnesses
A lot of states require that your will be witnessed by at least 2 to 3 individuals over the age of eighteen. In many states, these individuals are required to not only see you sign your will, but they are also required be able to recognize that you are of a sound mental state while signing it.
It’s a good idea to steer clear of having beneficiaries or the executor of the will be your witnesses. The witnesses are required to sign the will to signify they witnessed it. The document might then be required to be notarized. Verify the laws in your state concerning witnesses and wills to guarantee that you fulfill all the requirements when executing your will.
Not Destroying Prior Wills
When you have a prior will, it’s important that you destroy every copy of them when creating your new one. You want to bypass any possible circumstance in which your current will cannot be located and an old will is going to be used in its place.
Inadequate Testamentary Capacity
One of the most common reasons that individuals challenge a will has to do with the mental ability of the testator, or individual creating the will. In a lot of states, you are required to fulfill a fundamental competency test to create a will that is going to be valid. This includes comprehending:
- The property you are owner of
- Who your family members are
- Your relationship with the beneficiaries you have decided on
- What the will declares and designates
Individuals that have dementia or other mental disability can still create a valid will. If you’re concerned that someone may try to insinuate you did not have testamentary capacity, you need to work alongside an attorney to provide suitable documentation, in which may include a practitioner’s report or possibly a video of yourself.
Not Following Your State’s Will Requirements
Every state has their own requirements and preferred terminology that needs to be used when creating a will, do your research and discover what the laws in your state requires. Usually, your will needs to include the below:
- A declaration that it is your last will and testament
- A detailed list of who receives what
- The name of an executor, that is going manage the business of probating your will and allocating your property
Fraud or Unwarranted Influence
When the court discovers that fraud or unwarranted influence were implicated in the creation of your will, it is going to be considered invalid. Common cases could include:
- A non-family caretaker coercing the testator for leaving them an inheritance
- A family member convincing the testator to sign the will by claiming it is just typical legal paperwork that needs signing
If you intend to make inheritances that you believe your family could have difficulty accepting, it is wise to work alongside an attorney to make sure your will is indisputable. You can also have discussions with your family and record/document them, so that your wishes don’t come out of the blue following your passing away.
Since your will is your final chapter, you are going to want to make sure no one can challenge it and that there is no possibility a court could invalidate it. Careful carrying out of the will, with recognition to your state’s requirements, can help safeguard your last wishes.
Sember, B. (2021, March 18). What makes a will invalid. Will LegalZoom. Retrieved March 23, 2022, from https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/what-makes-a-will-invalid
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