A lot of the problems that plague wills and estate plans in Arlington, Washington, 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 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 be warned: even a relatively simple will can encounter problems in the drafting process, which can cause problems later on. An accomplished Arlington, Washington lawyer will greatly reduce the chances of this happening, if they help you in the process of robust will preparation.

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 Arlington, Washington

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 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 valid, it has to be accompanied by all the formalities (including witnesses) needed for 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 Arlington, Washington Lawyer Help?

Because of the formalities that are required for most wills to be valid, it is normally a good idea to have an Arlington, Washington 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.