Drafting a will can be a very extensive project. Creating a will requires knowledge of both your assets as well as state laws. Most people do not understand how to make a will that satisfies the requirements of state laws.
While it is not a formal requirement that a lawyer draft your will, it is almost certain that you will have questions during the drafting phase. It is to your benefit to contact a lawyer who can help you draft, revise, edit, and review your last will documents.
Wills may either be oral or in writing. You may wish to check the laws of your state- some states such as California do not enforce oral wills. In general, it is always best if your will is formalized into a written document.
Of course, you cannot be expected to know everything about how to make a will. However, it helps if you have some basic background knowledge about wills before you meet with your attorney.
Most state laws require wills to have the following elements in order to be valid:
If your will is invalid, your property will have to be distributed through the probate process. This may result in a property distribution that is different from your intentions. Thus, it is important that your will documents meet these requirements, and any other specific requirements in your state.
Even with a valid will, it is possible for many legal issues to arise during the creation process. Some common legal issues associated with will documents include:
As you can see, there can be many pitfalls that should be avoided when making a will. It is often helpful to begin creating a will early while you are capable of making sound decisions.
You may wish to contact an estate planning lawyer before you begin drafting a will. That way, your attorney can advise you on the best way to create your will documents. Also, a lawyer can explain to you how the wording in your will may affect the outcome of property distributions. Be sure to communicate any inquiries or concerns that you might have to your attorney.
Last Modified: 05-29-2014 03:37 PM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
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