Terms of Use:   

Any individual over the age of 18 and of sound mind is entitled to make a will. To be legal, a will must include the following:

  • You must be of sound mind and legally an adult.

  • The will should be typewritten or computer generated. Handwritten (or holographic) wills are not valid in all states, and should be avoided to ensure that all declarations in the will are read correctly.

  • The will must expressly state that it's your will.

  • You must date and sign the will.

  • The will must be signed by at least two, or in some states, three, witnesses. Witnesses must be people that will not inherit anything under the will and are only required to watch you sign the will.

You don't have to have your will notarized but using a notary can help simplify the court procedures required to prove the validity of the will after you die.

An attorney is not required if your estate is fairly straight-forward, but care must be taken to ensure that your will addresses all of your assets and loved ones as intended.  Several good books and software exist to help you through creating a will.

 Minimally your will should include the following:

  • Define who gets your property. This is an important step so care must be taken to define all your property.  

  • Names someone (personal guardian) to care for your minor children in the event that both you and your spouse die.

  • Names someone to manage the property you leave to minor children.

  • Names the executor of your will.  The executor is the person with the authority to make sure that the terms of your will are carried out.