For Ohio residents who are thinking about their estate and their heirs, understanding the various details about wills is one of the most important factors. While they might have a full grasp on their assets and how they want them distributed, certain rules have to be followed to ensure the legality of the document.

One key issue that is frequently overlooked is the simple act of the signatures on the document. Adhering to the necessary steps will make certain that the will is valid. Witnesses must sign the will. The testator should sign the document with two witnesses who are 18 or older. The state in which the will is being crafted will dictate how many witnesses there must be, when the testator has to sign, and if it is possible to have a handwritten or holographic will.

The witnesses should also sign a self-proving affidavit. A notary public is not required to have a valid will, but the self-proving affidavit is a sworn statement from witnesses that is given in the presence of a notary. This will avoid the necessity for the witnesses to have to swear to the will’s validity in probate court. The executor should be told of the will’s existence and where it is kept.

Provided the will adhered to the laws of the state in which the testator resided when it was made, it will be valid in any state at the time of death. The state laws should be examined when moving to a new state. If changes are necessary to adhere to the new state’s laws, this should be done to ensure its validity. To make sure that the laws are followed for creating and maintaining a valid will, having the assistance of an estate planning attorney can be advisable.

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