The worst thing that can happen with any estate plan is to have the will invalidated after the estate planner dies. This could render the entire goal of the estate plan moot, and then the estate could be managed (and divided) according to a prior will or Tennessee intestacy laws. To avoid a situation like this, estate planners must make ever effort to ensure their wills are valid by adhering to the following six requirements:
Voluntary. The creator of the will must not be forced, coerced or misled to create the document through the actions of others.
Lawful disposal of the testator's property. For the will to be valid, it needs to properly dispose of property belonging to the testator. This means that all property should be listed and distributed to friends, family members and other individuals or organizations identified by the will creator.
Age. A will drafter must be of legal age, which usually means that he or she is at least 18 years of age, legally married or enlisted in the U.S. armed forces.
Testamentary capacity. The creator of the will must have testamentary capacity, which means that he or she is of sound mind and understands everything that the will and estate plan intends to achieve.
Intent. It must be clear that the individual knowingly intended to draft a will, i.e., a plan for his or her assets to take effect after his or her death.
Signing in front of witnesses. All wills must be signed and dated in front of two witnesses in Tennessee. The witnesses must also sign and date the documents.
Are you ready to create a lawful last will and testament that will hold up in court? Learn more about Tennessee estate planning laws to ensure that you will is appropriately drafted and signed.