Wills

All Wills Articles

Is a "Deathbed Will" Valid?

Last-minute wills, often called "deathbed wills", can be just as valid as a will you create in advance yourself or in a lawyer's office.

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What is a Self-Proving Will?

Wills with a "self-proving affidavit" attached are easier to prove valid in probate court.

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The Witness Requirement to Execute a Will

A will typically must be properly witnessed to be valid.

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How "Undue Influence" Can Invalidate a Will

If the will doesn't truly reflect the wishes of the deceased person because someone unethically pressured that person, family members can file an undu...

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Problems of a Joint Will for Married Couples

Any estate planning lawyer will tell you that a joint will, usually created by a married couple, is generally a bad idea.

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Is an Oral (Spoken but Not Written) Will Valid?

Oral wills might have worked when many people were illiterate, but not today. These days, a written and signed will is necessary.

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Using Video for a Last Will & Testament?

There's really no such thing as a video will--you still need an old-fashioned, signed, paper document.

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Should You Make a New Will?

When does a will need to be updated, or replaced with a new will? Usually, significant life events trigger the need for a new document.

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How to Tell if a Will Was Revoked or Replaced

It's not enough just to find the will--the executor also must make sure that the will-maker didn't revoke or replace it later.

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Using a State's "Statutory" Will

In a few states, you may run across a simple fill-in-the-blanks form will provided by the state. They're not common, primarily because they are so inf...

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The Meaning of "Children" in a Will

It sounds simple--but in many cases, the definition of children in a will can become a contentious issue.

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When There's No Will: Intestate Succession Laws

In the absence of a will, the closest relatives of the deceased inherit, in an order that's set out in your state's law.

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Are Handwritten or "Holographic" Wills Valid?

A holographic or handwritten will can be a binding legal document, in some states and in some circumstances.

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How a "Pour Over" Will Works

If the deceased person left a living trust as well as a will, you're likely to be dealing with a "pour-over" will.

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What Does The Executor Do When There's No Will?

If you're the executor and can't find a will--or the will you've got isn't valid--state law steps in.

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How Does Divorce Affect a Will?

Does a former spouse still inherit from the estate? Depends on where you live.

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How a Will Can Be Contested (Challenged)

It's usually difficult to successfully challenge a will--but it happens.

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Online Wills & Do-It-Yourself Will Making Software

Everybody needs a will - but most people don't need to pay a lawyer to draft it. Online wills and software can guide you through the process easily an...

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Living Trusts vs. Wills

Both a living trust and a will serve to transfer property after we pass away, but they work very differently.

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Why You Need a Will

Everyone should have the most basic estate planning document: a simple will.

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