What needs to be included to ensure a will is valid
A will is important for estate planners to distribute their property and assets and can also leave a legacy and care and provide for their family members. Estate planners preparing their will should be familiar with what should they need to do to ensure their will is valid.
There are several different components of a valid will including:
- Testamentary capacity – for the testamentary capacity requirement to be met the estate planner needs to be of sound mind which includes that the estate planner knows they are making a will and understand the impact of their will; the estate planner understands the nature and extent of their estate; and the estate planner understands that the will is disposing of their property and assets.
- Voluntariness – for the voluntariness requirement to be met, the estate planner must have entered into their will and signed their will voluntarily with no coercion or duress in the process.
- Intent – for the intent requirement to be met, the estate planner must intend to make a revocable disposition of their property with the will at the time they sign it.
- Witness and signature requirements – witness and signature requirements can vary so whatever they are where the will is being executed, they need to be met. A common requirement is that the will signing is witnessed by two disinterested witnesses.
- Legal age – for the legal age requirement to be met, the estate planner usually has to be 18 years or older.
- Proper disposal of property – for the requirement that the estate planner’s property is properly disposed of in the will to be met, a list of property and beneficiaries should be included.
A will is commonly used to distribute assets and property to beneficiaries. The estate planner has the opportunity to specify which of their possession will go to which friends, family members and loved ones in a will. For that reason, estate planners should know what should be included in their will.