In Lehigh 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.
The process of drafting and executing a will can be very simple with the average estate which has only a moderate amount of assets held in only a few locations (a couple bank accounts, a house, maybe a stock portfolio). This is also true if the decedent simply wants to give their property to a few immediate family members, without setting up a complicated trust arrangement.
However, even with "simple" wills, there are a few frequent stumbling blocks that commonly make things far more difficult down the road. Luckily with proper will preparation, most of them are easy to avoid, with the help of a good attorney in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania.
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 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 Lehigh County, Pennsylvania
In some states, "holographic wills" are valid. A holographic will is written by hand, in the testator's own handwriting. Such will do not need to have any witnesses 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 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 Lehigh County, Pennsylvania Lawyer Help?
Because of the formalities required in drafting wills, it's never a bad idea to have a brilliant Lehigh 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.