State laws set out the specific requirements for executing a last will and testament. These laws are very similar and don’t vary too widely from state to state. A best practice approach to executing a will would include the following steps:
There are also some additional rules.
Firstly, your witnesses must be at least 18 years of age and should not be your spouse or a beneficiary under your will (or a spouse of such beneficiary), as this could nullify any gifts you make to them under your will.
Secondly, if you are making a will in Louisiana, you must have it notarized. While there’s no legal obligation to have your will notarized in any other state, it’s actually good practice. By signing a self-proving affidavit in the presence of a notary and attaching it to your will, it can help avoid any problems that might arise in the future when admitting your will to probate. These problems tend to relate to challenges to the authenticity of the will or compliance with the legal requirements necessary to make it valid. So, certainly, if you think there is a risk your will could be challenged in the future, then you should visit your notary and sign a self-proving affidavit.
How Can EstateBee Help You?
For more information on wills, check out some of our other articles on wills in our Learning Center.
If you would like to make a last will and testament, check out our Online Will Writing Software. Its free to try and you can make a will in as little as 10 minutes. It’s also one of the leading estate planning softwares on the market.
On the other hand, if prefer a more in-depth understanding of wills and to learn how to make your own, check out our book How to Make a Last Will & Testament. “Make Your Own Last Will and Testament” includes a plain English review of the matters you need to consider when making a will, and includes all of the instructions and template forms necessary to make your own will. It will show you how to leave money and property to your loved ones, avoid intestacy, appoint guardians for your children, save on legal fees and probate, much more.
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