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How to create a valid will

On Behalf of | May 24, 2022 | Wills |

A lot of people in Maryland haven’t given any thought to their last will and testament. So, if you have a rough draft of your will, you’re already ahead of most people. Before you sign your final will, however, you should make sure that you know what it takes to create a valid will.

You must be of sound mind

To create a valid will, you must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind. A person who is mentally incapacitated or under the influence of drugs or alcohol could not create a valid will. It is also important that the instructions in your will are your own wishes and you are not being forced or coerced into signing something.

Your will must be signed

Your will is only valid if it was signed by you in your own handwriting. If you are unable to sign your own will, it can be signed by another person as long as you are specifically directing them to sign it. In most cases, your signature must appear at the end of your will.

There must be witnesses

When you sign your will, people must be present to witness the signing, and the number varies among states. These witnesses must be disinterested, which means that they are not beneficiaries in your will. After watching you sign your will, the witnesses must then sign the will themselves. Some states allow wills to be signed by beneficiaries, but Maryland is not one of them.

Other tips to avoid a will contest

Even if you create a valid will, your will could still be contested if it contains unclear instructions. If you attempt to disinherit your spouse in your will, this action could render your will invalid. Make sure to provide clear and concise instructions in your will, and be as specific as possible.