Friday, December 11, 2009

Will-definition and requirements

Will: American Heritage Dictionary provides the following meaning (among others):

  1. A legal declaration of how a person wishes his or her possessions to be disposed of after death.
  2. A legally executed document containing this declaration.
I need not say any more. It is pretty clear, at least in my mind.

A will can be handwritten or typewritten. A handwritten will is known as Holographic will and can be sufficient without any other indicia's. However, the following information must be present:

  1. Identify the testator (person who is writing the Will) fully. We usually also provide address.
  2. Revoke any previous Will or Codicil. A codicil is an attachment to a Will.
  3. Putting a date on the Will or Codicil is important. Last one in time controls.
  4. The testator must be of sound mind. Hence the requirement of two witnesses. Witnesses can prove whether the testator was of sound mind or not or knew what he or she was doing or not. California requires two witnesses.
  5. Holographic will does not need to be witnessed. However, in order to avoid any possibility of any challenges around validity (sound mind, intention, etc.), it is a good idea to do it formally and in presence of witnesses.

  6. Proper age is important. Any adult over 18 can write a will.

A will can be changed or revoked any time. More later…………….!!