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GUIDELINE

How do I make a will valid?

When preparing a will, most states require the following elements:

  1. The testator is at least 18 years old and of sound mind.

  2. The inclusion of a statement that the document is the testator's will.

  3. The will is typed or computer-printed, except in the case of a handwritten will.

  4. The will must have at least one provision that disposes of property or a provision that appoints a guardian for minor children.

  5. The appointment of an executor; and

  6. The testator and at least two witnesses signed the will.

  7. The testator should adhere to the following guidelines when signing a will and selecting witnesses:

  8. The testator must sign and date the end of a typed or computer-printed will in ink.

  9. The signature should match the name that appears in the will.

  10. The witnesses must see the testator sign the will.

  11. The witnesses must also sign the will.

  12. The witnesses should be at least 18 years old; and

  13. It is preferable that beneficiaries should not be the witness.

  14. It is not mandatory to have a will notarized; however, doing so may simplify probate proceedings.

  15. It is not mandatory to register your will. However, registration of will may simplify the probate proceedings.

What information should I have handy before preparing the will?

The testator should

  1. Accumulate the details of all his assets ,liabilities etc.

  2. Preferably all documents should be handy and all information in one place for the ease of making of the will.

  3. All documents pertaining to any details of all movable as well as immovable assets including Real Estate, Fixed Deposits, Money in Bank Account(s) Securities, Bonds, proceeds of Insurance Policies, Retirement benefits, Art, precious metals (Gold, Silver etc.), Brands, Goodwill, digital assets (photographs, sketches, blogs, websites, email accounts , accounts with social websites etc.) and Intellectual Property Rights etc. including what they are and the method and manner of their storage should be available if the testator wants to make a will wit complete details to ensure smooth distribution.

  4. Before filing the details , he/she should be confident of the way of distribution of assets.

  5. In case of mentally challenged, dependants and minor children guardians should be well thought of and decided on.

  6. The details of the beneficiaries should be properly furnished in detail.

  7. Appoint an executor.

  8. Decide on how are the liabilities going to be paid off.

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