If you are keen on ensuring that your loved ones are provided for in future and will continue to enjoy the same, or better, standards of living even after you are dead and gone then you should be getting in touch with an estate planning lawyer right about now. More specifically, you should be getting in touch with a will and trust attorney.
In addition to drawing up your will, they can also act as executioners to oversee and supervise the implementation of all the provisions of the said will when you are no more.
While every useful resource here worth his or her salt will have no problem advising you on this subject, it is still a great idea to know in advance the main conditions that must be met for your will to be valid in the eyes of the law even before you ask your lawyer as this will enable you to judge whether or not the lawyer is doing the right thing. The following are the 4 main requirements of a legally valid will:
- The testator to the will must have attained the minimum legal age. This may vary from state to state depending on military service and marital status but most states peg it at 18 years of age.
- The will must make specific mention of the property being transferred. This could be mentioned directly within the will itself or attached as an appendix to it.
- The will must specifically mention the beneficiaries as well as the executor. In most cases, the executor is usually the same will and trust attorney who draws up the will.
- The will must be signed in the presence of witnesses. Again, some states may require the presence of at least two independent witnesses while for other states a single witness would be good enough. In addition, in some states the estate planning attorney who draws up the will can also be considered as a witness and, in such states, there will only be need to a single additional witness.