How to Create a WillJune 30, 2022
If you are considering making a will for your estate, there are many requirements and important elements to consider. From appointing an executor to distributing your estate, all matters must be adequately addressed to ensure that your wishes are followed. As experts in estates and personal planning, the team at Sidhu & Associates knows how important it is to understand these requirements and considerations. That is why we have created a guide outlining how to create a will to help you understand what is required for a valid will and ensure that your wishes are followed after your passing.
Requirements for a Will
For a will to be valid:
- The will must be in writing (typed or handwritten).
- It must be signed by the testator. The testator must then acknowledge this signature as theirs in front of two witnesses present at the same time.
- Two witnesses (19 years or older) must sign the will in front of you.
- The testator and the witnesses should initial each page of the will in front of each other.
- The will must have the date it was signed included on it.
Who can make a will?
To make a will, you must:
- Be 16 years of age or older.
- Be mentally capable of managing your own affairs.
- Freely agree with the contents of the will at the time you make it. If it is proven in court that someone pressured you to make a will that does not represent your intentions, it will be deemed invalid.
Important Elements of a Will
A will typically has several important sections including:
The first section of the will appoints the executor. The executor is an individual who is responsible for carrying out the instructions of the will. The will can specify the extent of the executor’s powers/capabilities in administering the estate.
Distribution of the Estate
The next section of the will outlines who receives your possessions and property—also known as your estate—and under what conditions. The people you will be giving assets to are known as beneficiaries. You can make gifts of specific property, items, or cash. The amount left over after debts and taxes are paid and gifts are distributed is called the residue of the estate. In the will, you must state who receives the residue, and in what portions.
The will can also include other important details as you wish. For example, if you have any children under the age of 19, you should name a guardian for them in the will. You should also provide sufficient financial assistance for the guardian to cover the costs of raising and caring for the children.
Signatures and Initials
The last section of the will includes the signatures of the testator and witnesses. Both parties should also be sure to initial each page of the will.
To learn more about wills, estates, and personal planning, get in touch with the experts at Sidhu & Associates. We can be reached through our online contact form and will be happy to answer any questions you may have.