In this video clip, estate lawyer Paul Rabale explains to people how they can write a will that will be valid in a court of law themselves without the help of a lawyer.
It’s important to note that while many lawyers feel strongly that no will should be written without professional assistance as if they are not drawn up correctly, they will not be considered valid.
However, many people do try to write their own wills. And Paul wants to ensure that if you do take this route, you have all the information you need to do it right!
The first aspect of writing a valid will is understanding whether holographic or handwritten wills are binding in your state. If they are, you can simply write out a will (by following the instructions below) in a few minutes. If not, you will need to type and notarize the will for it to be considered valid.
Now that you know what the will needs to look like, you must decide who will receive your estate and savings.
In this case, Paul pretends that the man writing the will, aka Will Writer, wants to leave absolutely everything to his wife.
The author of the will also need to specify who will receive his estate and savings if his wife dies before he does. And in this case, he wants to split everything between his two kids, with his daughter, Wilhelmina Writer being the executor of the will.
Next, he begins writing the pretend will of Will Writer by following these simple steps:
1. Write the full date at the top of the page.
2. State your full name: “I, William Writer, declare…”
3. State that it is your last will and testament.
4. Expressly revoke all prior wills.
5. State to whom you leave your possessions: “I leave all my property to…”
6. Express who will receive possessions if the first recipient predeceases you.
7. State who will receive possessions if the second recipient predeceases you.
8. Name the executor of the will.
9. Name the second executor if the first cannot serve the will.
10. Express that your executor may act as an independent executor and shall serve without bond.
11. Sign at the bottom of the page.
That’s all there is to it. You have now written a valid and legally binding will.
It is vital to understand that while making a valid will can be quite easy, it can get more complicated depending on your circumstances.
For example, if you have stepchildren, forced heirs, children with special needs, or you want to divide your assets specifically between multiple people.
In these cases, you should absolutely opt for professional help from an estate lawyer to ensure your will states precisely what you want!