A will is a document that sets forth how a person’s probate property will be distributed upon death. To be valid, a will must meet the following requirements: the person making the will must be at least 18 years old and be of sound mind; with some limited exceptions, the will must be written and signed; and the will must be witnessed by at least two persons.
A will is effective as long as it is not revoked, which can occur by the execution of a new will or codicil replacing the old, or when the person who made the will destroys it with the intent of revoking it.
Wills can provide valuable information to the probate court, saving legal expenses in such proceedings. Such information includes the naming of the executor, the beneficiaries of the will, and waiving the need for the executor to post a bond. If minor children were the survivors, the will could inform the court as to whom the deceased parent wished to be guardians. Without a will, the court distributes the property of the deceased to the nearest family members according to the law.
The drafting of a will requires professional judgment. I can help you avoid pitfalls and choose the course best suited for your situation.