Understanding Validity: Who Can Make a Will?

18954926 - last will and testament concept image complete with spectacles and pen.

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At the end of your life your Final Will and Testament will help your friends and family implement your legacy by handling your estate to your exact specifications. You can leave instructions for the division of property, administration of assets, and much more. Since wills are such important legal documents, make sure you educate yourself about will validity and who is qualified to craft a final will and testament.

The Legal Age to Write a Will

Most states in America view 18 as the legal age to create a will, but an individual who creates a will at the age of 18 will need to update the verbiage in the future to reflect major life changes such as children, marriage, and additional assets. Becoming lawfully married or a member of the U.S military are also benchmarks that make it legal to create a will.

Voluntary and Testamentary Capacity

It is necessary that a person be of sound mind, memory, and understanding to write a will. This is known as testamentary capacity. When you write a will, you must show that you understand the nature and extent of your estate, the implications of making plans for your property and assets, and the overall effects of your will. This process must also be voluntary, as a will executed under duress is not considered valid.

It is very common for wills to be challenged if the will-maker was very old or sick at the time the will was created. Anybody unhappy with the will can claim the will-maker did not have testamentary capacity. This is why it’s best to create your will when you are younger and your sound mind cannot be challenged.

Work With an Attorney

It is possible to write your will yourself, but not recommended. It must be signed and dated in front of two people who are not beneficiaries, and it is important that all legal formalities are included to guarantee the will is deemed valid upon your death.

It is best to work with an attorney who specializes in wills and estate plans so that you can trust your final will and testament to uphold your wishes at the end of your life.

Work with Attorney Muenter to create a valid will that properly reflects your wishes for the future. Call 941.567.1671 to get started!