In West Des Moines, 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 be warned: even a relatively simple will can encounter pitfalls in the drafting process, which can cause problems later on. An experienced West Des Moines, Iowa 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 actually intends the document to be a will. Also, the laws of most states require that wills be witnessed and signed by at least 2 neutral parties.
Holographic Wills in West Des Moines, 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.
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 required by the law of that state.
If your estate is relatively small, and the devises you wish to make aren't very complicated, 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 West Des Moines, Iowa Lawyer Help?
Because of the formalities required in drafting wills, it's never a bad idea to have a good West Des Moines, Iowa 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.