People who make the advisable choice to be fully prepared for the future should understand the value of estate planning. Often, this is viewed as needlessly complicated. For many people, all they need is a simple will. This applies to those who do not have complex assets, might not own a business and just want to make certain their property goes where the testator wants it to go. There can be problems even with simple wills. To ensure the process goes smoothly, it is wise to start with the basics. This can avoid challenges and unnecessary disputes later.
Key points about a basic will and ensuring it is valid
People frequently forget the simplest requirements. To be valid according to the law, the will must be executed in writing. It must also be signed by the testator or in his or her name by another person while in the testator’s presence and at their direction. Regarding witnesses, the document must be signed by two. This must be done in a reasonable time after they witnessed the signing or the testator acknowledging the signature or the will.
If the will does not comply with the above-listed requirements, it will still be valid as a will even if it is not witnessed. The material facets and the signature must be in the handwriting of the testator. Evidence can be shown to prove that it was written by the testator. That can include parts of the will that are not in the testator’s handwriting or writing that was intended as a will.
Adhering to the fundamentals is key with a simple will
Wills are not required to be long-winded and complex documents. In some circumstances, it is necessary to have a more extensive will. In others, a simple will is sufficient. Regardless, adhering to the legal requirements for its execution and that the writings intended as wills are viewed as such is essential. Not having legal advice can be a critical mistake, even with a simple will. Consulting with those who understand estate planning can help.