There are a laws on the books that enter the picture when you are planning your estate. A last will is not something that is just read in a vacuum among family members. A will must be admitted to probate after the passing of the decedent, and there is a proving of the will during probate. The court examines the will to determine its validity during this process.
In order for a will to be valid, the person who is creating the will (the testator) must be an adult. The testator must be mentally competent when the will is being executed. Plus, there can be no coercion or intimidation involved in the signing of the will, and it must be properly executed.
We practice law in the state of Connecticut. Proper execution of the will involves witnessing in our state. Two adult witnesses who are mentally competent must participate in the signing. They must witness the testator sign the will under legally acceptable circumstances, and they must also sign the will without coercion.
You may assume that a will must be notarized to be valid in the eyes of the law, but this is not the case. Notarization is not necessary, but if the will is not notarized, the court will be forced to admit testimony from the witnesses when the validity of the will is being determined. Tracking down the witnesses can take time, and this will prolong the process of probate.
To make things simpler and more efficient, the testator and the witnesses could go to a notary to create a self proving affidavit, and when this is included, the will would become a self proving will. Under these circumstances, the court would not have to question the witnesses during probate.
We should point out the fact that there are websites on the Internet that sell do-it-yourself last wills. Filling in the blanks on a generic, template document may sound like an easy way to go, but you know what they say about easy answers. If you want to be certain that your will is competently constructed, you would do well to seek legal counsel.
Learn More About Last Wills
Our firm has prepared a series of special estate planning reports, and we have a report in our electronic library that focuses on the topic of last wills. This report contains a lot of useful information, and it is being offered on a complimentary basis at the present time.
To access your copy of the report, visit this page and follow the simple instructions: Free Report on Last Wills.
Estate Planning Consultation
If you would like to take things a step further, contact us through this page to request a free consultation: Hartford CT Estate Planning Attorneys.