What makes a will valid, and can I make a handwritten will if I don’t have any significant assets?
Ask any will lawyer Allentown, PA has to offer, and you’ll likely hear that a will is the most basic of all estate planning documents. It can detail what you would like to be done with your assets upon your death and describe who you would want to care for any minor children or adults with special needs. It is only valid when you sign it and have it witnessed with certain formalities in mind. In general, you should always have a lawyer review your will. This is because even one wrong or misused word could impact your overall wishes. If you would like to learn more about a will, please call Klenk Law to speak with a will lawyer in Allentown, PA for free.
What makes a will legally valid?
Any adult, who is of sound mind, can legally make a will. Beyond this the will should include:
- Signatures from at least two witnesses (PA being an exception)
- A date
- Your signature
Most states do not require a will to be notarized, but this can help and might simplify the court procedures. You also do not have to file a will with a government office or entity; however, some states offer this option to residents. It is essential that your will is kept in a safe place. You should ensure the executor of the will knows where to access it.
You might not need a will lawyer Allentown; PA can provide to write a will that leaves small investments, a single family home, or personal items to family members or friends. However, if significant assets are a factor, or your situation is beyond one that is standard to an individual, you’ll likely want to consult a will lawyer Allentown, PA can trust.
Can I make a handwritten will if I don’t have any significant assets?
A handwritten and unwitnessed will, also known a holographic will, is legal in approximately 25 states. For a holographic will to be valid, it needs to be written and signed in your handwriting (or the handwriting of whoever is making the will). Depending on the state, this document might also need to be dated to be valid. Some states will also accept DIY/fill-in-the-blank style forms, as long as your handwriting is on it and it is signed and dated.
In general, a holographic will is better than no will, providing that it is valid in your state. A will that is signed in front of a legal witness is better. If your handwritten will is contested or reviewed in a probate court, the judge will likely meticulously examine it to ensure it is legitimate. Furthermore, if your will contradicts other things you have said, is contrary to what you initially intended, or is ambiguous, your final wishes might not be carried out as you wish. When this happens, your beneficiaries might have to hire an Allentown will lawyer for assistance.
Contact a Will Lawyer Allentown, PA Families Depend On
To learn more about the distribution of the aforementioned assets, wills, or other viable solutions for estate planning, please call Klenk Law
today. Guided by more than 25 years of experience and a passion for our profession, we have successfully created legally binding wills, trusts, and estate plans for many clients and their loved ones. For a consultation with a will lawyer Allentown, PA families trust, please call 215-790-1095.