In Athens, Alabama, many of the complications that sometimes come with a will, such as would-be beneficiaries challenging its validity, or devises which don't make it clear who gets what (resulting in costly and time-consuming litigation) can be avoided if the will is well-drafted in the first place.
The process of drafting and executing a will can be very simple with the average estate which has only a moderate amount of assets held in only a few locations (a couple bank accounts, a house, maybe a stock portfolio). This is also true if the decedent simply wants to give their property to a few immediate family members, without setting up an intricate trust arrangement.
But be warned: even a relatively simple will can encounter pitfalls in the drafting process, which can cause problems later on. An efficient Athens, Alabama lawyer will greatly reduce the chances of this happening, if they help you in the process of robust will preparation.
With most wills, certain formalities have to be followed in the drafting process or will preparation, or else the will might not be valid. In general, these formalities exist with the goal of making fraud more difficult. The requirements for a will to be valid are pretty simple, but it's still possible to make mistakes in attempting to follow them. Most importantly, you should know that a will must contain a provision stating that the person making it is of sound mind, and truly intends the document to be a will. Additionally, the laws of most states require that wills be witnessed and signed by at least 2 neutral parties.
Holographic Wills in Athens, Alabama
In some states, "holographic wills" are valid. A holographic will is written by hand, in the testator's own handwriting. Such will do not need to have any witnesses to be valid.
A holographic will, where they are permitted, will usually be interpreted liberally, to give effect to the testator's intent if at all possible.
You should know, however, that holographic wills aren't recognized in many states. If you live in one of these states, you're still free to hand write your will, but, in order to be valid, it must be accompanied by all the formalities required by the laws of the state it is made in.
If your estate is relatively small, and the devises you wish to make aren't very perplexing, a holographic will can be a good option if they're valid in your state. Of course, it's never a bad idea to make a will with the assistance of a lawyer.
How Can A Athens, Alabama Lawyer Help?
Because of the formalities that must accompany most wills, it might be advisable to have an Athens, Alabama attorney help you draft it.