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What do I need to include in my will?

One of the reasons why a will could be invalidated after someone dies is because not all of the necessary components were included in the will. Sometimes, missing a single required component could invalidate a will. To protect your last will and testament from future legal challenges when you're no longer available to state your wishes, you should make sure that the following elements for your will were present:

-- You were at least 18 years old when you drafted the will.

-- Your mind was sound.

-- You included a statement that the document is, in fact, your will.

-- You typed or printed your will on a computer. A handwritten (holographic) will can work, but typed or computer-generated is preferred.

-- The will should include a provision to appoint a guardian for any children who are minors or a provision to dispose of property.

-- The will should appoint an executor.

-- The will should include the appropriate number of witnesses who also sign the will at the same time as the testator.

-- The testator and witnesses need to sign and date the will in ink.

-- All signatures on the will should match the printed names.

-- The witnesses need to actually witness the testator signing the will.

-- The witnesses should be 18 years of age or older.

-- None of the witnesses should be people who benefit from the will.

The above list includes general and basic considerations for a last will and testament. However, every situation is different. Make sure you fully understand your circumstances and the legal requirements for your will before finalizing your estate plan.

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