A will is one of the most important aspects of estate planning. This instrument allows you to leave important assets with those you hold dearest.
However, with a culture of DIY estate planning being made available through the internet, it is vital to ensure that your will is legally valid. If it is not, it could be challenged or deemed illegitimate by the courts.
How can you make sure that your will is valid?
Your will should be in writing. While Mississippi is one of the few states that will recognize an oral will, there are some strict rules on how that can be applied – and there must be two witnesses on hand who can attest to your words in court if the bequest you leave is worth more than $100.
It’s important to remember that memories can fade and witnesses can disagree about what they heard, so a written will provides much better security.
You must have legal capacity
While estate planning can benefit young people and the elderly, there are some restrictions. A person must be at least 18 years old before they can draft a will in Mississippi. Individuals must also possess ‘testamentary capacity, which means they fully understand the terms of their will.
There must not be undue influence
A will is supposed to reflect your final wishes, not those of someone else. All of the terms must have been drafted voluntarily. If you’ve been subjected to undue influence, and this can be proven, your will is likely to be cast aside by the court.
As you tackle your estate plan, make sure you have been given the appropriate advice. It’s probably best that you seek help from someone with experience in the field.