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What makes a will legal and valid?

Wills are an important part of any estate plan, even if you don't have many assets or beneficiaries to protect. A will lets you choose how to distribute your assets upon death and can guarantee you that your wishes can't be ignored by those who you leave behind.

When you create a will, you need to choose an executor to carry out the will after you pass away. When you choose that person, make sure they are competent and able to be trusted. They should be willing to seek legal help when necessary to protect your estate.

When is a will valid?

Every state's laws are different, and they can change, so it's a good idea to talk to your attorney specifically before you say if your will is valid or not. Usually, a will is valid if you are of sound mind when you create it and if there are enough witnesses to satisfy the court. Oral and written wills, and sometimes even electronic wills, can be upheld in court if they meet the requirements of the state.

What can't your will do?

Your will is not allowed to violate state laws. For that reason, it's a good choice to have your attorney review your will and make sure you haven't accidentally violated laws that could invalidate your will. Once they're satisfied that you haven't, the will can be signed with witnesses present to make it legal.

Your attorney will talk to you more about your will after you decide what you'd like to include in its terms or change about it in the future.

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