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How do I make sure a will is valid?

There have been many cases in which a Tennessee will was contested and rendered invalid by family members and heirs after a loved one dies. As such, making sure your last will and testament is valid is essential to having your wishes followed after you're gone.

In order to increase the chances of your will holding up in court against a will contest, you'll want to pay attention to the following details that make a will valid:

  • When you drafted your will, you were 18 years of age or older, lawfully married or serving in the U.S. military.
  • You were of sound mind when you made your will and you understood the nature and extent of your estate, and that in drafting your will you were indicating how and to whom your assets will be distributed.
  • You intended for the document to serve as your last will and testament at the time you signed it.
  • Your drafting of the will was voluntary and you were not coerced, or it did not appear that you could have been coerced, at the time you created the document.
  • You properly disposed of your property in the will. This means that you have listed the various assets and items pertaining to your estate and indicated who will receive what among your family and friends.
  • You signed and dated the will before at least two parties, and these witnessing parties did not benefit from your will.

The above conditions will need to be met by a will in order for it to survive a challenge in court after you're gone. A deeper understanding of Tennessee estate planning laws will help you draft your will appropriately to meet the above conditions.

Source: FindLaw, "What is a valid will?," accessed Dec. 22, 2017

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