Formal Document Execution

In order to be valid, a Will must be formally executed. To be able to formally execute a Will in the first place, that Will must be in writing.

If a “Will” (please note the quotation marks) is audio-recorded or video-recorded or texted or emailed, it likely won’t be considered a Will at all.

Once you have a written Will, it must be signed by both the Testator (the person to whom the Will belongs) and two qualified witnesses. To be a “qualified” witness, you must be over 14 years of age, and you must be disinterested. To be “disinterested,” you must have no financial or inheritance interest in the Testator’s estate. Further, everyone should sign in each other’s presence. (It is also worth considering other formalities that support a Will’s validity, such as well-drafted “attestation” clauses, “self-proving” affidavits, and notarization.)

Of utmost importance, beyond the aforementioned clerical matters, the Testator must have “testamentary capacity,” and must voluntarily sign the Will under no undue influence