If you don’t have very much property, you may wonder whether you actually need a will. For the little you do have, isn’t a handwritten will good enough? In some cases it could be, but the circumstances have to be just right.
Considering All of Your Assets
You may feel that you don’t have much in terms of property, but be sure you are considering everything. Do you own any valuable jewelry? Do you own any additional real estate? Do you have children? Do you have partial ownership in a business? Are you the heir to someone who has major assets and who could potentially die before you? Keeping these things in consideration can help you determine if it’s really the best idea to handwrite your will or if you should have it drafted by your lawyer.
Making a Holographic Will
A will that is handwritten and unwitnessed is known as a holographic will. They are legal in about half of the states in the nation, but they need to be signed with the same handwriting the will was written in. In some states, a date is also required. Sometimes holographic wills are made when a person realizes he or she is going to die right away and has not made a will, such as someone who is stranded in the wilderness, but someone with few assets could also make a will this way.
Signing in Front of a Notary Public
If you do choose to handwrite your will, it may hold up better in court after your death if you signed it in front of a notary public and had the notary authorize your signature. You may have heirs who try to contest the will, and without that authorization, it’s possible your will won’t be upheld. You can find notary publics in many places including at the bank, at the post office, or at your lawyer’s office.
Consulting a Lawyer
When handwriting your will, you may want to consult a living will lawyer, like a living will lawyer in Philadelphia, PA. It’s possible you will write something incorrectly or in a way that it can be misconstrued. Your lawyer can guide you in writing everything to reflect your wishes correctly. Some lawyers are also notary publics, so you could get the entire will completed with the assistance of your lawyer.
Even when you feel you don’t have much property, it’s important to have a will. To learn more about how to successfully create a handwritten will, contact a wills lawyer today.
Thanks to Klenk Law for their insight into handwriting your will.