In Ames, Iowa, many of the issues 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.

If your estate doesn't include a lot of money and property, and you only want to leave your assets to a few people, making a will can be pretty simple.

But even with "simple" wills, some easily-avoidable problems come up more often than they need to. A good Ames, Iowa attorney can help you avoid these problems with careful will preparation.

Many problems with wills are due to some of the required formalities not being followed. The formalities involved in drafting and executing a will are not particularly complicated, but they must be scrupulously followed. Otherwise, the will might not be given effect. In most states, the will must include some clear statement that the document is, in fact, the last will and testament of the person making it. It usually must also be witnessed and signed by at least 2 people who do not have any stake in the will.

Holographic Wills in Ames, Iowa

In some (but certainly not all) states, "holographic wills" can sometimes be treated as valid wills. A holographic will is just a will that is written entirely in the testator's own handwriting. They do not need to be witnessed in order to be valid.

Holographic wills, assuming they're recognized, are interpreted very broadly. This gives them the best possible chance of actually being implemented, since they will rarely be invalidated on technicalities.

You should, however, know that not all states allow holographic wills. In such states, you can still hand write your will if you want, but all the formalities, such as witnesses, must be present.

Making a holographic will is rarely the ideal option. But it's sometimes the only option. If you find yourself suddenly needing to make a will, a holographic will is certainly an option, if they're recognized in your state. If possible, though, you should still consult with an attorney, who can review your holographic will and suggest any fixes that will make it easier to meet your goals.

How Can A Ames, Iowa Lawyer Help?

Because of the formalities that are required for most wills to be valid, it is usually a good idea to have a Ames, Iowa attorney help you make it, or at least go over it after you have written it, to make sure there aren't any problems with it.