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How to Make Sure that You Have a Valid Will

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 1

A will is an important document. The best thing is to have a lawyer make your will. That way you will be certain that it is done right. You can also go online to places like Legal Zoom and input information to have your will completed. Or you can use software that you can purchase in order to create a will. Yes, it will probably be less expensive that way but it's still a better idea to go to an attorney. Choose an attorney that specializes in wills and estate planning. You will only be liable for estate tax (which is a federal tax) if the inheritance is more that $1.5 million. Now remember that these laws are subject to change so you need to ask about this when you speak to your attorney. Most states piggyback off the federal laws so there could also be a state tax imposed if the estate is a sizable one. You will need more extensive estate planning if you have assets above the 1.5 million level.



Things You Will Need

An attorney, a software package that contains a will maker, or an online site that provides a will making service.

Step 1

Your will should be signed and dated by you in front of witnesses. Check with your state to see how many witnesses are required. Normally it will be two. In most states signers of a will must all be present at the same time. People who witness your signature may not be someone who will inherit from your estate. Most of the time at an attorney's office it will be people who work at the office who will be your witnesses.

Step 2

Most states don't require that the signatures are notarized. Ask your attorney if the will is self proving. You will want a self proving affidavit attached to your will. This document will need to be notarized. In this instance the affidavit will be signed by the witnesses and will have a statement that they heard you state you are the will maker. This way a witness will not be called to prove a will and in most instances will allow the will to move through probate more quickly because you will not have to hunt down the witnesses and require them to appear in person.
All states have different laws regarding wills. Many people do decide to draft their own wills. Just make sure you do your research and that the will is signed and witnessed correctly. Occasionally you will want to review your will to insure that your last intentions are still being fulfilled. There are many reasons to have a will. Don't put it off until it's too late.

Tips & Warnings

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Comments

Dec 30, 2009 4:11am
eileen
Very good information. Yes wills are important, As you say you cannot be too careful.
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