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How do you know if a will is valid?

On Behalf of | Apr 12, 2022 | Estate Planning |

There are many misconceptions about drafting a last will and testament, thanks to numerous online resources claiming to offer these services at no charge. Those wishing to put their affairs in order might assume that a downloaded template is a cost-effective and stress-free way to manage their last wishes.

A true will is a legally enforceable order, and therefore it must be valid if the terms of the order are to survive a legal challenge. Consider the elements that validate a will in Delaware.

Basic requirements

For a will to be valid in the state of Delaware, the individual must be at least 18 years old and bear a record of being of a sound mind and memory. The will has to be in writing and bear the signature of either the maker of the document or the person responsible for drafting the will at the direction of the maker. There must also be two or more credible witnesses present who also subscribe their names while in the presence of the maker. A beneficiary of the will may be a credible witness.

Legal requirements

Self-proved wills are valid before probate when both the witnesses and maker sign an affidavit in the presence of a Notary Public. The affidavit must contain state requirements concerning statutory language. An individual must present the original document to the Register of Wills Office within 10 days of notification of the death of the maker.

Rather than leave your attempt at a last will and testament open to legal challenge, consult an attorney for all aspects of estate planning rather than internet resources.