Many of the problems that sometimes come up with wills in Topsfield, Massachusetts, 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.
Generally, the larger your estate, and the more separate devises you want to make, the more complex the process of drafting your will is going to be. For most people, however, the process can be fairly simple.
However, 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 Topsfield, Massachusetts.
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 also 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 includes close relatives of the testator and anyone who's named in the will.
Holographic Wills in Topsfield, Massachusetts
If you need to make a will quickly, some states allow you to write a "holographic will." This is simply a will which the testator hand-writes. These types of wills don't need to be witnessed.
A holographic will, where they are allowed, will generally be interpreted liberally, to give effect to the testator's intent if at all possible.
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 complex, 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 Topsfield, Massachusetts Lawyer Help?
Because of the formalities required in drafting wills, it's never a bad idea to have a good Topsfield, Massachusetts 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.