A lot of the complications that plague wills and estate plans in Suffolk, Virginia, such as contests by beneficiaries who think they got the short end, could have been avoided if the will had been better-drafted in the first place.
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 be warned: even a comparatively simple will can encounter delays in the drafting process, which can cause problems later on. An efficient Suffolk, Virginia lawyer will considerably reduce the chances of this happening, if they help you in the process of robust will preparation.
Most of the complications that plague wills stem from failure on the part of the drafter to comply with the required formalities. These requirements aren't terribly perplexing, but they have to be followed to the letter if a will is to be valid. Typically, 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 cautiously, because if they have any direct interest in the will, they won't count as valid witnesses.
Holographic Wills in Suffolk, Virginia
In some (but definitely not all) states, "holographic wills" can sometimes be treated as valid wills. A holographic will is just a will that is written exclusively in the testator's own handwriting. They do not need to be witnessed in order to be valid.
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 be aware that not all states recognize holographic wills. In such states, you can of course still handwrite your will if you want. But for the will to be legitimate, it has to be accompanied by all the formalities (including witnesses) required for any other will.
If your state permits them, a holographic will might be a good way to go in some cases. For instance, 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. Nonetheless, even in cases like this, it's never a bad idea to make a will with the help of a lawyer.
How Can A Suffolk, Virginia Lawyer Help?
Because of the formalities that are required for most wills to be valid, it is typically a good idea to have a Suffolk, Virginia 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.