In Ankeny, Iowa, many of the dilemmas 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 Ankeny, Iowa attorney can help you avoid these problems with careful will preparation.
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 Ankeny, Iowa
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.
Assuming that a holographic will is valid in your state, a court will probably interpret it very liberally, acknowledging the fact that it probably wasn't written by a lawyer. This is to make it much easier to actually give your wishes effect.
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.
If your state allows them, a holographic will might be a good way to go in some cases. For example, if you don't have an unusually large amount of money, and simply want to leave your assets to close family members, or even to a single person (such as a spouse), it probably wouldn't be a problem. However, even in cases like this, it's never a bad idea to make a will with the help of a lawyer.
How Can A Ankeny, Iowa Lawyer Help?
Because there are certain formalities which must be followed in drafting wills, it's always a good idea to seek the help of an Ankeny, Iowa attorney in drafting your will. Even if your will is going to be very simple, and you have the formalities all figured out, mistakes can be made.