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3 key factors that ensure a will is valid

When drafting a will, you need to make sure it's going to be valid and hold up after your death. Don't just assume that it will. While your estate plan does not necessarily need to be complex or legally daunting, all paperwork has to be drafted and filed properly so that your wishes are respected.

Below are three key factors that need to be considered:

Do you have testamentary capacity?

This just means that you are in good mental heath and you know what you are doing when you draft the will. This question often arises if someone has Alzheimer's disease or a similar issue. Does that person truly understand what the will is going to do, who his or her heirs are, what assets need to be divided and the like?

Are you of legal age?

Generally, the legal age to draft a will is 18. Most people who think of drafting one are well over that age. In fact, if anything, the issue is that a lot of people in the middle of their lives think they are still too young to have a will when the reality is that they need one.

Was drafting the will a voluntary effort?

You can't be forced to draft a will under duress. Someone else can't draft one and then force you to sign it. You have to want to have a will and intentionally write it in accordance with your own wishes.

If you're thinking of creating a will, no matter how complex or simple, be sure you know exactly what legal steps to follow.

Source: FindLaw, "What Is a 'Valid Will'?," accessed Feb. 23, 2018

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