Factors that Could Invalidate a Will

In order for a will to be considered legally valid, certain measures and requirements must be met. Failure to meet these standards could also potentially lead to legal challenges by beneficiaries. Beneficiaries who are already suffering from the loss of a loved one do not need the added stress and anxiety associated with inheritance disputes. Therefore, in order to ensure a will is not compromised, a testator should aim to avoid or limit the possibility of the following factors.

According to the website of the Mokaram Law Firm will can be considered invalid for numerous reasons. However, the most common include mental state of the will’s writer, coercion, faulty execution, undue influence, and inaccuracies. Other factors determining the legitimacy of a will are age of the writer, witnesses, notarization, and residence.

Although legal standards for each of the previously mentioned factors differ from state to state, there are some common requirements that span across state lines. For example, in order for a testator to be considered of “sound mind,” they must simply know what a will is and that they were making one, know who the beneficiaries are, understand what they owned, and be able to decide how to distribute that property. Many states also have similar requirements regarding the contents of a will. For example, most states require that a will expressly state whose will it is and who wrote it, include a substantive provision, and appoint an executor.

Some of the factors that do vary from state to state are age, witnesses, and notarization requirements. For example, in all states a testator is required to be at least 18 years of age, unless, as some states allow, a minor is married, a military member, or considered to be emancipated. Likewise, some states require there to be at least two, non-inheriting witnesses to a will while others require no witnesses to assure validity. And lastly, while most states do not require a will to be notarized, some states may ask for a self-proving affidavit by the witnesses.

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