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How do I make certain my will is valid?

On Behalf of | Oct 17, 2023 | Firm News |

In Virginia, people are often advised as to the value of estate planning. This is true regardless of their income, family situation and age. Everyone can benefit by being fully prepared for the future with an estate plan of some kind.

Taking this step is important, but many do not know the details of the process. A will is the simplest form of estate planning, but missteps are common. Making a mistake when crafting a will could be problematic in myriad ways. In a worst-case scenario, it could render the document invalid. Making sure the will stands up to scrutiny is imperative to make sure it is executed as the testator wants.

When is a will valid?

According to state law, there are basic requirements to make a will valid. Some aspects of creating a valid will are obvious. It must be in written form and signed by the testator. In some instances, the testator is unable to sign it. The will must then be signed by another person in the testator’s presence and done so at their direction.

Some wills are handwritten. This is also referred to as a holographic will. For this kind of will to be valid, it must be wholly in the testator’s handwriting and there must be a minimum of two witnesses who have no interest in the will’s contents.

If a will is not wholly in the person’s handwriting, it will not be valid unless they have signed it or they have acknowledged it with two competent witnesses present at the time who subscribe it in the testator’s presence.

Following the law can help with a valid will

People who take the time and know the value of a will do not want to make mistakes that will lead to it being declared invalid or stoke dispute among beneficiaries. This can cause a litany of problems regarding their property and determining how it will be distributed.

When deciding on an estate plan, the focus is on the contents of the will. This can lead to easily avoidable errors that can render the entire document invalid. With every aspect of a will or other estate planning documents, being up to date on the fundamentals is critical.