When you go through the trouble of making your will, you want to know that you are doing it correctly and that it covers everything it's intended to cover. You also want to be sure your true intentions are made clear and there is no room for misinterpretation or contesting of the will.
The information here is intended to help you have a better understanding of what goes into the creation of a true will.
What Is a Will?
You more than likely understand a will is a document that dictates where your assets and belongings go when you pass on. However, a will is also a legal document that can cover much more than just your belongings, assets, and currency.
A will can also cover such things as who you want to raise your children, who will become the owner of your animals, who will take on certain responsibilities, and much more. Your will can also specify whether you would like to be cremated or buried, as well as where you would like to be buried.
What Are the Rules Regarding Wills?
While the laws regarding wills can vary depending on the state you live in, there are some rules that are widely agreed upon.
Since a person cannot get into legal contracts until they are a legal adult, they also cannot sign a will as a minor. The exception to this rule would be if the minor has been married, is in the military, or has been legally emancipated through a court of law. Legal emancipation allows a minor to be recognized as an adult in the eyes of the law.
A person must be of sound mind to enter into a legal contract of any kind. Therefore, if someone makes a will while they are suffering from a mental state that would prevent them from being able to make their own decisions, a will signed by them could be contested.
A person must make their will while they are not being coerced into doing so under duress or force. If a person has been pressured to create a will, then it can be contested even if they have signed and dated it. This type of coercion is referred to as undue influence.
A will must clearly state how and where the will maker's property will be disposed of. All properties, assets, funds, and other items of value must be distributed to the person or organization of their choosing.
A will must be dated, signed by the person making the will, and signed by two other people who are acting as the witnesses. These witnesses will be people who have no interest in the will.
What Problems Can Arise From Making a Will Without a Lawyer?
While it may be legal for you to create your own will, it can lead to problems. Hiring a lawyer to help you with your will can prevent these problems and set your mind at ease.
A lawyer will ensure the will is written in a way that makes it ironclad, so you know that even if it is contested, it will stand. The lawyer will use the correct wording and terminology that makes your wants and desires very clear. The lawyer will also ensure you have included everything in the will, so nothing is accidentally left out.
What Is Your Next Step?
If you are ready to get started on your will, then you should contact us at The Law Office of Leon A. Karjola. We can help you to write a will, so you can set your mind at ease.