In Northampton, Pennsylvania there are various 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.

The procedure 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 an intricate trust arrangement.

But be warned: even a comparatively simple will can encounter delays in the drafting process, which can cause problems later on. An efficient Northampton, Pennsylvania lawyer will considerably reduce the chances of this happening, if they help you in the process of robust will preparation.

Many problems with wills are due to some of the standard formalities not being followed. The formalities incorporated in drafting and executing a will are not particularly convoluted, but they must be scrupulously followed. Otherwise, the will might not be given effect. In most states, the will must include some clear statement that the document is, in fact, the last will and testament of the person making it. It typically must also be witnessed and signed by at least 2 people who do not have any stake in the will.

Holographic Wills in Northampton, Pennsylvania

In some states, you can make what is identified 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.

If holographic wills are valid in your state, courts will, as with any will, have to figure out what is truly being said, and resolve ambiguities. Because holographic wills are not always written under ideal conditions, they have to be interpreted very liberally, so they can be given effect and not fail for technical reasons.

You should, however, know that not all states permit 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 recognizes them, a holographic will might be a good option if you have a very small estate, and wish to make very simple devises. Nonetheless, it is never a bad idea to at least have an attorney review your will for completeness and clarity, even if you aren't having the attorney draft it from scratch.

How Can A Northampton, Pennsylvania Lawyer Help?

Because of the formalities that are required for most wills to be valid, it is typically a good idea to have a Northampton, Pennsylvania attorney help you make it, or at least go over it after you have written it, to make sure there aren't any problems with it.