In Dauphin County, Pennsylvania there are several problems that can rear their heads, derailing the process of drafting or executing a will. Typical 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 massive 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 efficient lawyer in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania who specializes in wills and estate planning can help make sure that this doesn't happen to your will.
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 vitally, you should know that a will must contain a provision stating that the person making it is of sound mind, and truly intends the document to be a will. Additionally, the laws of most states require that wills be witnessed and signed by at least 2 neutral parties.
Holographic Wills in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania
In some states, testators are permitted 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.
Holographic wills are normally construed very broadly. Knowing that it was not written by an expert, a court will typically 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, however, that holographic wills aren't recognized in many states. If you live in one of these states, you're still free to hand write your will, but, in order to be valid, it must be accompanied by all the formalities required by the laws of the state it is made in.
Making a holographic will is rarely the ideal option. But it's sometimes the only option. If you find yourself suddenly needing to make a will, a holographic will is certainly an option, if they're recognized in your state. If possible, though, you should still speak with an attorney, who can review your holographic will and suggest any fixes that will make it easier to meet your goals.
How Can A Dauphin County, Pennsylvania Lawyer Help?
Because of the various required formalities that accompany a will, it's not a bad idea to have a knowledgeable Dauphin County, Pennsylvania attorney help you draft your will, even if it is relatively simple.