Will Guide
What Happens if You Die Without a Will
Leaving Property to Heirs
Homes and Family Residence
Testamentary Trusts
Amending and Revoking Your Will
Marriage, Divorce and Children
Estate Taxes
Will FAQs
What is a will?
What happens if you die without a will?
Is my out-of-state will valid if I move?
What makes a will legal?
Can I make a handwritten will?
Do I have to file my will with a court or in public records?
Can I disinherit someone?
What should I do with my will after I sign it?
Can I change or revoke my will after I make it?
What happens to my debts after I die?
Where can I get my will notarized?

What You Need To Know

What makes a will legal?

There are only a couple of requirements to make a will valid and legal:

Soundness of Mind: The person signing the will cannot be mentally ill or disabled and must be acting of his or her own free will, without undue influence from others.

Witnesses: At least two people (three in some states) must watch you sign the will. They cannot be related to you and cannot be entitled to receive anything under the will.

In addition to these provisions, the law also requires that a will's appearance be uniform: all important sections must be entirely typewritten or computer generated, or they must be entirely handwritten. You do not have to get your will notarized. However, EstateGuidance allows you to "self-prove" the will, which requires that a separate affidavit be notarized. The advantage of self-proving is that witnesses do not have to be tracked down after your death.

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