Getting your affairs in order in preparation for the inevitable can be an agonizing process. If you are someone with assets to leave behind for your loved ones, you are likely considering the idea of writing your Last Will and Testament. This is a wise choice, particularly where you may have a spouse and children or multiple persons that could stake claim to your assets.
Having a Will certainly has the advantage of eliminating, or minimizing, uncertainty when it comes to your wishes, assuming it is properly drafted. This reduces the risk of family members bickering and wrangling over your assets. Assume then that you did take the time to have your Will prepared but the Court rules it as invalid and inadmissible for purposes of probate. Why? Because it was not signed properly, according to the law. What a terribly unfortunate situation over something so seemingly trivial! Now the bickering and wrangling you attempted to avoid, has become a reality.
Do not become a victim, or better stated, do not let your loved ones become victims of that reality. Take note of the following “need-to-know” tips when signing your Last Will and Testament.
- Your Will is to be in writing, meaning an oral or verbal Will is not valid.
- You are to sign the Will at the end of the document. None of your dispositions or directions are to fall underneath or come after your signature.
- You are to sign the Will in the presence of two or more witnesses.
- The witnesses cannot be beneficiaries under the Will, nor a spouse of any beneficiary. Your Executor can, however, be a witness provided he/she is not a beneficiary under the Will.
- The witnesses are to attest and subscribe to the Will by signing in your presence.
Apply all these tips and you should have no problem with the signature aspect of your Will. There are exceptional and other circumstances not covered under this article so speak to an Attorney in the event you may fall within an exception.