Although you’re scared, frustrated, and a little depressed, you know that creating a will is the best thing for your family. Hopefully, they won’t need it for many, many years. You know that once you complete it, you’ll be comforted in knowing that it’s done. Unfortunately, now that you’ve made the decision, you’re not quite sure how to go about writing it.
You’ve made a list of all your assets, asked your family if there was anything they specifically wanted when you die, and spoke with your sister about being the executor, but now what? How do you get the information on the dozens of papers, post-its, and notes you’ve collected, into a legal last will and testament?
Legalizing Your Will to Avoid Future Contests
The majority of wills go through probate without incident. However, every year a few hundred are contested by family members who believe they deserve more—due to the fact that the wills were invalid, or not legally sanctioned. This is why the Virginia State Board recommends that you not only have a certified lawyer help you draft it, but you also have it notarized to prove authenticity and legal validity.
When you have the qualified experience of a good lawyer, he will help ensure that you follow these guidelines to secure your final wishes:
- Properly witnessed signatures. For a will to be legal, you must sign it in the presence of two independent witnesses, who must then also sign it and print their name and address for future reference.
- Proper proof that you were of sound mind. If needed, the signed witnesses must be able to testify that you signed the document of your own freewill, were not pressured by anyone else to do so, and were also mentally coherent at the time of signing. If your mental state at the time of signing can be proven to have been compromised, your will could be invalidated.
- Proper understanding of your assets. In order for a will to be valid, it must accurately portray the value of your estate, clearly and adequately describe your wishes, and compensate for adjustments for third parties who may have a claim to your estate.
Ensuring Your Last Wishes Won’t Be Jeopardized
Your last will and testament is the only way you can ensure that your loved ones will be taken care of once you’re gone. Don’t allow a simple mistake to jeopardize their future, or your wishes. Instead, call us to get the advice, knowledge, and experience you need to properly create and safeguard a valid will.
We don’t want your family to have the added stress and torture of fighting one another over what you may or may not have wanted—and you shouldn’t either. Contact us today to get the peace of mind that comes with knowing your wishes will be carried out without incident or the need for contests.
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