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Thread: Last Will and Testament

  1. #1

    Question Last Will and Testament

    I was wondering if my last will or testament need to be signed by a lawyer so it's valid ?
    I thought, I simple write a piece of paper, that includes all points for my last will.

    Wealth, and who get's what.
    And finally, I just go to an UPS Notary Service and let them sign this paper.

    Is this not enough ?

    Ohh yeah, living in the USA.

  2. #2
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    Quicken WillMaker Plus - 2016 Edition - Nolo

    Buy the program, create your will in a way that will stand up to your state's laws. Then go to a notary and you sign it. Then make sure people know where to look for it later.
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    hmm.. ok.. well, I guess a piece of paper is written quick.. but I was not sure how many people do have to testify in front of the notary ?
    and if the last will is done, if I just would give copies of it to my children... would that work ?

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    It's not "testify". You're taking document explaining your wishes, getting it signed in front of a notary. Then you put the documents in a safe deposit box or some secure place and tell your kids where it is and how to access it. Be sure to get the "Advanced Healthcare Directives" document filled out and signed as well; that one you want to give notarized copies to your kids so that they know what your wishes are for that and who will be responsible for making the decisions.
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    Some states don't require a will to be notorized, just witnessed but I recommend having it notorized. The notary is saying that the signatures on the will were made by the actual person signing. Each person who signs has to go with you to the notary.

    The reason to have a will notorized is when the executor takes the will to court to open probate the notorized document proves to the judge the will is valid. If not notorized the witnesses will also have to go to court. If the witnesses are not available then you could run into problems proving the will is valid.

    I recently ran into this problem and had to contact a person who had witnessed a will signing whom I had a restraining order against. It was rather awkward.

  6. #6

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    The requirements for signing and witnessing vary a lot from state to state. I've never used WillMaker but it has been around for a long time, so I assume that even if they ever had wrong instructions, the mistakes would have been noticed and corrected way before now.

    Just make sure that you carefully follow instructions EXACTLY. Courts have thrown out wills for seemingly minor technicalities.

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    A safe deposit box may not be the best place to keep it. Sometimes those are difficult to access after the death of the owner.
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