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How do you know your will is valid?

When you're planning your estate, it's very important to have a valid will. Your will has many consequences, so knowing that it is going to stand up in court is a necessity.

Having a will is one of the very few ways you can make sure those you love to receive the gifts you want to leave them and are provided for in the way you intend. Your will dictates what you want to see happen to your assets and how you want to be remembered.

What are some requirements for a legal will?

To begin with, you cannot have a legal will until you are 18 years old, have served in the United States military or have been lawfully married. If you meet one of these conditions, then you can have a will that is legally binding.

You must also be able to show that you have testamentary capacity. This means that you are of sound mind and understand the decisions you're making. You also have to show that you voluntarily created and entered into the will. You'll sign it, often in an attorney's office with a witness or two. You cannot be under duress when signing the will. If there is any sign that you were forced to sign the will, it won't be legal in court.

The will has to be signed, dated and witnessed by at least two other parties. These witnesses are not allowed to be those who will benefit from the will, so that's something to bear in mind when you ask for a witness for your will.

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