How to Guarantee That My Will is Valid

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  2. How to Guarantee That My Will is Valid
How to Guarantee That My Will is Valid

There comes a point in our lives where it is necessary to ensure all of our assets are in order. This could be for a multitude of reasons, whether it be an emergency or just a friend mentioned it could be a good idea. Whatever the reason, it is imperative that you assure you will be valid, or there is a possibility it won’t be honored, and your assets could be dispersed in a way you would not want. The document must have proper mental capacity, an intent to create a will, and the statutorily required formalities. 

Mental capacity is a fairly low bar to reach, only truly requiring that the testator have one lucid moment and be above the age of eighteen. The person making the will must know that they are dispersing their assets when doing so. The testator does not have to be lucid however at the end of their life, only when they are executing the will completely. However, there can sometimes be an intent issue.

A will satisfies intent if it is clear that the purported will is meant to be a will. The best way to ensure that this requirement cannot be argued is to create a separate document called a self-proving affidavit. This document says clearly that this will was meant in fact to be a will. Having a self-proving affidavit is like a fail-safe valve that eliminates a possible opening for a challenger to try to puncture. This document also saves time, and money, and reduces the possibility of witnesses having to show up in court to prove the will. 

In regard to formalities, as long as the proper process is followed completely there will likely not be a problem. The will must be in writing, signed by the testator, and signed by two disinterested witnesses or a notary public. The signing by the witnesses must be in the presence of one another and within a reasonable time of the initial signature. North Carolina differs slightly from other jurisdictions in that the two witnesses must be disinterested. This means that they cannot have any financial ties to the will itself and not be a beneficiary in any capacity. An interested party may sign as well if they so choose, however, this is not required and does not get rid of the other two witness obligations. 

Wills are incredibly important to ensure you and your loved ones are receiving exactly what is intended. Never leave it up to chance and take that extra step to protect what is yours. While all of these steps can be accomplished on your own, having an extra set of eyes and someone trained to take that extra step truly can make all of the difference. 

To avoid any missteps, contact one of King Laws Estate Planning attorneys at 888-748-KING (5464) or by filling out our consultation form. We have offices located across western North Carolina and upstate South Carolina. We are here to serve you and guide you as we navigate this journey together.

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