A lot of the dilemmas that plague wills and estate plans in Elkins, West 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.
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 a complicated trust arrangement.
But be warned: even a comparatively simple will can encounter drawbacks in the drafting process, which can cause problems later on. An accomplished Elkins, West Virginia lawyer will considerably reduce the chances of this happening, if they help you in the process of robust will preparation.
With most wills, certain formalities have to be followed in the drafting process or will preparation, or else the will might not be legitimate. In general, these formalities exist with the goal of making fraud more challenging. 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 notably, you should know that a will must contain a provision stating that the person making it is of sound mind, and really intends the document to be a will. Furthermore, the laws of most states require that wills be witnessed and signed by at least 2 neutral parties.
Holographic Wills in Elkins, West Virginia
In some states, "holographic wills" are legitimate. 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 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 necessary by the laws of the state it is made in.
If your estate is fairly small, and the devises you wish to make aren't very complicated, a holographic will can be a good option if they're valid in your state. Of course, it's never a bad idea to make a will with the assistance of a lawyer.
How Can A Elkins, West Virginia Lawyer Help?
Because there are particular formalities which must be followed in drafting wills, it's always a good idea to seek the advice of an Elkins, West Virginia attorney in drafting your will. Even if your will is going to be very simple, and you have the formalities all figured out, mistakes can be made.