A vital step in ensuring that an estate is properly distributed to beneficiaries is making sure a will is valid. The will validation process can take time in some cases, while in others it may be completed rather quickly. California residents who need help with this can seek assistance from an experienced attorney.
To be valid, a will must be properly executed. There are general requirements that must be met when creating a will for it to be considered legally binding. These requirements include that the person for whom the will is written:
- Is of legal age -- 18 or older
- Is of sound mind
- Has intent to make a will
- Makes the will voluntarily
- Makes proper arrangements to distribute his or her property
- Has the will signed and dated with the appropriate number of witnesses present
It is not uncommon to question will validity if one believes that any of these requirements has not been met. If it is a question of how property is to be distributed or that a will was not properly signed, such issues can generally be handle fairly simply. However, if it is a question about a will being changed due to fraud or while mentally incapacitated, these issues can be harder to prove.
Whether one just wants to make sure a will is legally binding before estate administration or if one has concerns about its validity, it is okay to ask questions before any assets are distributed. An experienced attorney can assist with the will validation process and file any challenges if doing so is deemed necessary. While no one really wants to extend the process of closing out a loved one's estate, there is certainly no harm in taking the extra time to ensure it is done properly and in accordance with the laws of California.
Source: FindLaw, "What Is a 'Valid Will'?", Accessed on May 9, 2017