Many of the pitfalls that sometimes come up with wills in Berea, Kentucky, 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.

Drafting a will doesn't need to be a perplexing or especially expensive process. If you have a small to moderate amount of assets (limited to a home, a car, and a few bank/investment accounts), and don't need to set up trusts or anything similar, you can probably have a will written in just a couple days, for a relatively small fee.

Nonetheless, even with "simple" wills, there are a few common stumbling blocks that often make things far more difficult down the road. Thankfully with proper will preparation, most of them are easy to avoid, with the help of a good attorney in Berea, Kentucky.

A significant 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 Berea, Kentucky

In some states, you can make what is known 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.

Assuming that a holographic will is valid in your state, a court will probably interpret it very liberally, acknowledging the fact that it likely wasn't written by a lawyer. This is to make it much easier to actually give your wishes effect.

You should know that not all states recognize holographic wills. Of course, you could still handwrite your will if you desire; but to be legitimate, it would have to be accompanied by all of the formalities (witnesses being the big one) of any other will.

If they are allowed in your states, a holographic will can be a good option, in some cases. If you do not have a large 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 Berea, Kentucky Lawyer Help?

Because of the formalities required in drafting wills, it's never a bad idea to have a reputable Berea, Kentucky 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.