In Berks County, Pennsylvania there are many problems that can rear their heads, derailing the process of drafting or executing a will. Frequent examples include ambiguities in the language of the will, leading to conflicts and challenges. Most of these issues can be staved off through quality drafting.
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 even if the will is relatively simple, some preventable problems can derail the process. An accomplished lawyer in Berks County, Pennsylvania who specializes in wills and estate planning can help make sure that this doesn't happen to your will.
Most of the dilemmas that plague wills stem from failure on the part of the drafter to comply with the required formalities. These requirements aren't terribly complicated, but they have to be followed to the letter if a will is to be valid. Normally, wills have to be witnessed and signed by at least 2 people, and it must include a clear statement that the document is, in fact, a will. You should choose the witnesses carefully, because if they have any direct interest in the will, they won't count as valid witnesses.
Holographic Wills in Berks County, Pennsylvania
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.
Holographic wills are usually construed very broadly. Knowing that it was not written by an expert, a court will normally look at the common definition of words, and use other common-sense principles when it comes to interpreting a holographic will. This is necessary to avoid conflicts, and increase the chances that the testator's wishes are honored.
You should know that not all states recognize holographic wills. Of course, you could still handwrite your will if you desire; but to be valid, it would have to be accompanied by all of the formalities (witnesses being the big one) of any other will.
If your state authorizes 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 Berks County, Pennsylvania Lawyer Help?
Because of the formalities required in drafting wills, it's never a bad idea to have a brilliant Berks County, Pennsylvania 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.