Guidelines for Drafting a Will

by M-Gillies

According to a 2007 report 55% of all adult Americans do not have a will.

When a will is submitted, whether it be written or orally communicated by a person stating how they would like their estate disposed of at the time of their death, it is best to understand that all wills must meet certain requirements in order for them to be deemed valid, which include:

1. The testator must be 18 years of age or an emancipated minor.

2. The testator must be of sound mind in which they:

* Understand what a will is and what it does;

* Understand the relationship they have between their immediate family members;

* Know what property they own; and

* Understand who the beneficiaries are who will be inheriting their estate.

3. The testator must expressly state that this document is their last will and testament.

4. The testator must sign and date the will.

5. The testator must have the will signed (attested) by at least two witnesses, in addition, these witnesses cannot be related to or be beneficiaries of the will.

6. The testator must have substantive provisions that:

* Nominate a legal guardian for any minor children;

* List the specific items of inheritance; and

* State what is to happen to remaining property not mentioned in the will.

7. The testator must appoint an executor who will be:

* Responsible for supervising the distribution of property; and

* Responsible for paying any debts or taxes the testator may have incurred prior to death.

Read more:

Types of Wills

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