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The Basics of Making a Valid Will

The Basics of Making a Valid Will

Making a Will allows you to make important decisions about how to organize and distribute your assets when you pass away, ensuring that you retain control over your testamentary wishes. For parents, it is crucial to nominate guardians for your minor children in your Will, as well as naming a trusted person to manage their property until they are older. A Will also enables you to choose a responsible executor to ensure that the terms of your Will are carried out.

Preparing a valid Will

An estate planning lawyer will ensure that your Will meets Ohio’s probate law requirements, protecting you from the risk of your Will being invalidated in future. The rules for forming a valid Will include the following:

  • Every Will needs to be in writing, whether handwritten or typewritten (although a verbal Will can be made by a person who is dying, who knows this to be the case and declares their dying wishes to two competent witnesses)
  • The person making the Will, the testator, must be a person of sound mind and memory who is aged 18 or older
  • The Will is invalidated where the testator is being defrauded or unduly influenced by another at the time of making it
  • The Will needs to be dated and signed by the testator or someone the testator expressly directs, in front of two or more competent witnesses aged at least 18 who sign as proof that they have seen the testator sign and acknowledge the Will as their own

Where is it best to store my Will?

Once you have finalized your Will, make sure that you keep the original in a safe place and that it is easily retrievable. It is advisable to leave a copy with the attorney who drafted it for you. A testator is also permitted to deposit the Will at the office of a probate court judge in the country in which he lives for safekeeping. To avoid unnecessary complications, it is also recommended that you inform your executor about the whereabouts of your Will, or simply provide the executor with their own copy.

Contact our compassionate Dayton estate planning attorneys for advice in relation to your individual circumstances and for help putting a Will in place to safeguard your testamentary wishes.

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