There are several important components of an overall effective estate plan but the foundation is usually a will. It is important for estate planners to ensure that their will is valid and that it complies with all relevant laws and to do that, estate planners should ensure they understand what a will includes and what makes a will valid.
Estate planning does not have to unpleasant or difficult and is an important resource for estate planners to provide for their loved ones and ensure peace of mind for everyone. There are a variety of different estate planning tools to help estate planners through the process of developing an estate plan that works for them and addresses their needs and concerns. At the most basic level, a will expresses the desires of the estate planner for how they want their estate to be handled and distributed and how they want their beneficiaries cared for.
There are some important requirements for a will to be valid and enforceable that estate planners should be familiar with. To begin with, the estate planner must be of legal age to execute a will which is 18 in most states. Additionally, the estate planner must have testamentary capacity to execute a will which means the estate planner is of sound mind, understands the effect of their will, the extent of their estate and that the will is being used to dispose of property and assets. They also must have intent to dispose of their property and the will must be made voluntarily such that there is no undue influence or duress.
Finally, there are also commonly witness and signature requirements that can vary by state so the estate planner should ensure they have met all of the legal requirements for a will to be valid in their state. Taking the step to create a will is an important one which is why estate planners should be familiar the useful purpose of wills and how to ensure they have a valid one.