In Pelham, Georgia, many of the pitfalls 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.

Generally, the larger your estate, and the more separate devises you want to make, the more complex the process of drafting your will is going to be. For most people, however, the process can be fairly simple.

But even if the will is comparatively simple, some preventable problems can derail the process. An experienced lawyer in Pelham, Georgia who specializes in wills and estate planning can help make sure that this doesn't happen to your will.

Many problems with wills can be caused by failing to follow the necessary formalities. These requirements are not very complex, but they need to be followed scrupulously. If not, the will might be found to be invalid. In almost every state, the will must be witnessed and signed by two disinterested parties, and must include a clear statement that the document is, in fact, a last will and testament.

Holographic Wills in Pelham, Georgia

In some states, testators are allowed to make "holographic wills." This is a will which the testator hand-writes, in his or her own handwriting. Such wills do not need to have any witnesses to be given effect.

If holographic wills are valid in your state, courts will, as with any will, have to figure out what is actually being said, and resolve ambiguities. Because holographic wills are not always written under ideal conditions, they have to be interpreted very liberally, so they can be given effect and not fail for technical reasons.

But you should be aware that not all states allow holographic wills. In these states, you are still allowed to hand write your will if you so desire, but they must be accompanied by all the formalities necessary by the law of that state.

If your state recognizes them, a holographic will might be a good option if you have a very small estate, and wish to make very simple devises. Nonetheless, it is never a bad idea to at least have an attorney review your will for completeness and clarity, even if you aren't having the attorney draft it from scratch.

How Can A Pelham, Georgia Lawyer Help?

Because of the formalities required in drafting wills, it's never a bad idea to have a reputable Pelham, Georgia attorney help in making your will. Even if your will is quite simple, and you have all the formalities figured out, it's still easy to make mistakes without a good once-over by a professional.