Is your Will Legal?

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March 24, 2014 by generationsprobate

You’ve probably heard about the advantages of drafting a will too many times to not take action for yourself. Nevertheless, you should know that for your will to be accepted and eventually executed after your death, you should make sure that everything you do is legal. Not that you could do an illegal will per se, but there are circumstances that could render it void.

Follow Procedure

Don’t get burned on a technicality. Consult a reputable probate attorney in your area and learn about the basic elements of drafting a will as provided in your state’s law. For instance, some states do not honor handwritten wills, so make sure that you have it typed out on a computer or a typewriter, whichever the law might call for.


Make sure that your will is signed in the presence of two or three witnesses, whichever your state law requires. Then, you can either have the will notarized in its entirety, or you can simply have your signatures and that of your witnesses notarized, in which case the will then becomes self-authenticating.


The provisions of your will could be rendered vague (and will thus be subject to court scrutiny) if there are should be any inconsistencies like a different spouse named, so make sure to update it in case you remarry after the initial will has been drafted and signed. In fact, every change in the composition of your family and heirs should be updated.


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Generations is a Sacramento-based estate and trust law firm, providing quality legal counsel in Estate and Tax Planning, Trust Administration, Probate Administration and Elder Law. The name reflects the firm's position as a devoted ally that helps families and businesses make informed decisions about their futures, from one generation to the next.



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