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WHO CAN MAKE A WILL?
State laws vary but generally provide that a person must be at least 18 years of age to execute a Will. Some states provide that a person 16 years old may execute a will.
HOW IS A WILL SIGNED PROPERLY?
Again, state laws vary. Most require two witnesses. Your best option is to read the Will attestation clause on the will for your state and comply with what it states. In most states, the execution is proper if the maker signs the Will in the presence of both witnesses, declares that he signed it and requests that the witnesses witness his or her signature and the witnesses sign in his presence and in the presence of each other. Most laws also provide that the witnesses not be heirs or interested in the estate.
Many of the wills also contain Self-Proving Affidavits which allow for easier probate. In such cases, a Notary Public is also necessary to notarize the will and the make and witnesses must be in the presence of the notary.
DO I FILE THE WILL?
State laws do not require that the will be filed and most do not have a procedure for filing Wills prior to death. In those states that do allow a Will to be filed prior to death, most are filed with the probate clerk or recorder of documents.
WHAT PROPERTY PASSES BY WILL?
All your property Will pass by your will except property which is to vest in others by other instruments. Examples are:
WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW TO COMPLETE A WILL?
As traditional distinctions between “paper” and “electronic” documents continue to be eroded by developing technology, it will almost certainly be necessary to give formal recognition to electronic wills. In the United States, a few states have omitted the wills exception from state analogs to Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN), adopted in 2000, and Nevada has expressly provided for electronic wills.
In some cases, a person will enter into an agreement to provide for someone in their will, in exchange for something, such as the services of a caretaker. Such contracts should be in writing and meet all the elements of a contract to be enforceable. For example, a promise to make a will, where no consideration is shown, will not be enforced.
The following is an example of a Connecticut statute dealing with making a will:
"A will or codicil shall not be valid to pass any property unless it is in writing, subscribed by the testator and attested by two witnesses, each of them subscribing in the testator's presence; but any will executed according to the laws of the state or country where it was executed may be admitted to probate in this state and shall be effectual to pass any property of the testator situated in this state."