Many of the pitfalls that sometimes come up with wills in Pittsfield, Illinois, such as contests brought by would-be beneficiaries, or devises which aren't clear on what they mean, can be avoided if the will is properly drafted in the first place.
If your estate does not have a large amount of assets, your assets are limited to cash and personal belongings, and you wish to leave all your property to your immediate family and friends, the process of drafting your will is likely to be fairly simple.
But be warned: even a comparatively simple will can encounter drawbacks in the drafting process, which can cause problems later on. An accomplished Pittsfield, Illinois lawyer will considerably reduce the chances of this happening, if they help you in the process of robust will preparation.
A considerable percentage of the problems that prevent wills from taking effect are caused by failing to follow the required formalities in will preparation. In most states, wills need to be witnessed and signed by at least two people who have no direct interest in the matter. They further have to include a clear written statement that the document is, in fact, the testator's will. It also has to be witnessed by at least two people. Witnesses cannot be anyone who has a direct interest in the will, which encompasses close relatives of the testator and anyone who's named in the will.
Holographic Wills in Pittsfield, Illinois
In some states, you can make what is recognized as a "holographic will." This is simply a will which is handwritten, in the testator's own handwriting. They do not need to be witnessed in order to be valid.
A holographic will, where they are authorized, will typically be interpreted liberally, to give effect to the testator's intent if at all possible.
You should, however, know that not all states authorize 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 they are authorized in your states, a holographic will can be a good option, in some cases. If you do not have a massive amount of money and property that you want to pass on, and your devises are going to be very simple (regular gifts to just a few people), a holographic will can suffice. Nonetheless, you should seek the advice of a lawyer beforehand, and know that it is almost always a better option to have a will accompanied by all the required formalities.
How Can A Pittsfield, Illinois Lawyer Help?
Because of the formalities required in drafting wills, it's never a bad idea to have a seasoned Pittsfield, Illinois 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.