When creating your will, it’s important to make sure that you follow all laws so that you have a will that is valid. In many cases, wills are contested, or challenged, because laws are not followed, or an individual was found to be forced into creating the will. Take a look at the following information, to better understand what makes a will valid. If your will isn’t legally valid, its terms are useless.
- You must be 18 years of age or older
In order to create a legal and valid will, you must be old enough. Children are unable to make legal decisions. You must have attained the age of 18 to execute a legally valid will.
- You must follow your state’s laws
Each state has specific laws related to creating a will. You may need to have multiple witnesses when signing your will, for example. Many states also require a non-handwritten will. It’s important to work with an estate planning attorney, so that you meet all of your state’s legal requirements.
- You must be mentally competent when creating your will
If you don’t understand what you’re doing or the decisions that you’re making when creating your will, then your will is not valid. You must understand your intentions as well as the results of creating your will.
- You must want to create your will
If you make a will under the undue influence from another individual, then your will is not valid. It’s illegal for individuals to pressure, force, or threaten a person into creating a will. A will can only be valid if you intended to create the will without the influence of others. Both the contents of the will and the actual signing (i.e. execution) of the will must be voluntary and without undue influence.
If you don’t create a valid will, it may be contested after your death. It’s important to hire an estate planning attorney so that you have a will that meets all of your needs, including your state’s legalities.