Your last will and testament is probably the most important estate planning document you will create. Therefore, you will want to ensure that the will you draft and sign is both lawful and appropriate given your situation. Here are a few basic considerations that every Tennessee testator should keep in mind when creating such a document:
Age and mental state of the testator
In the state of Tennessee, testators must be at least 18 years of age and of sound mind.
Number of witnesses for signing the will
Tennessee requires at least two witnesses to sign the will. They each must sign the document with the testator and the other witness present.
A Tennessee court will accept an oral (nuncupative) will in some cases. In the case of a nuncupative will, the will creator needs to be facing the threat of imminent death and the document will only be valid if the individual dies as a result of peril. Also, the nuncupative will must be written down within 30 days by one of the witnesses. In most cases, the nuncupative will is only valid when personal property is under $1,000 in value, but if the will involves a military service member in war conditions, then the limit is $10,000.
The state will also accept handwritten (holographic) wills in certain situations. In order for the holographic will to be valid, it must be written in the handwriting of the actual testator. Two witnesses need to attest that the handwriting is valid.
Do you need help with the creation of a valid Tennessee will that will hold up against a challenge in court? Our legal team is standing by to help you with all your estate planning needs.