The Top 3 Things to Know About Writing a Will

The Top 3 Things to Know About Writing a WillThe benefits of writing a will have long been expoundedon, and it is hard to find anyone living in the US who is completely unaware of the same. However, it is still a little surprising to note that many adult Americans still do not have valid wills– even in spite of the obvious advantages that come with having one.

This may be because of the note of finality and death that the idea of a will conjures. It might also be because these people simply do not know how to create a will. Either way, it is definitely time that you created your will if you have not done so already. To this end, below is a brief discussion of the top 3 things to know about writing a will:

1. REQUIREMENTS

In order to create a valid will, there are some requirements that havefirst to be met.These requirements may differ slightly from one state to another. In particular:

  • The person creating the will, also called the testator, must be of sound mind and must only do so freely and willingly. This fact must be confirmed by witnesses.
  • In many states, the will must be signed in the presence of at least two witnesses. Some states like Pennsylvania have removed this condition, but it is still a good idea to include them all the same in case your will gets contested in future.
  • The will must make mention of the executor-who will implement/oversee its implementation- and the beneficiaries who will gain from the will.

2. EXECUTION

The provisions of a will come into effect after the death of the testator. This means that the testator will never be around to oversee its implementation.There needs to be someone else charged with making sure that the provisions of the will are fully implemented. That person is known as the executor and, in most cases, is usually the attorney who drew up the will in the first place.

Upon the death of the testator, the will is subjected to a probate process with the intention of establishing its validity. Awitness may or may not be called upon to testify while the will is in probate depending on the state. If the will successfully passes the probate process, then it is implemented as it is. Otherwise, it is revoked, and the state’s inheritance laws apply.

3. CONTEST

Not every will eventually gets implemented upon the death of the testator. Sometimes the relatives of the deceased may decide to contest the will based on specific legal grounds.Some of the grounds on which the will may be contested include the following:

  • Forgery or fraud
  • Undue influence or coercion
  • Ambiguous language
  • Testamentary inability

It is never too early to write your will since, sad as it is, nobody knows when their time will come. Writing a will is the only way to make sure that your family and loved ones will be well taken for when that time eventually comes.

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