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What types of wills are valid in Tennessee?

On Behalf of | May 27, 2021 | Estate Planning |

There are a few different ways that a person can make their wishes known about what happens to their assets when they die. Some choose to establish trusts to hand those assets to the proper people. Others might opt to use the will. 

When creating a will, most people will go through an attorney and have the document drawn up. This is the best option since it’s the most likely to be legally binding. In limited cases, you might choose to use another type of will but remember that these wills aren’t as likely to stand up in court if they’re challenged.

Holographic and oral will face challenges

Tennessee recognizes both holographic (handwritten) wills and nuncupative (oral) wills under certain specific circumstances — but these are definitely problematic and shouldn’t be relied upon except in emergencies. Holographic and nuncupative wills are often the center of will challenges, which can take valuable time and be costly for the estate.

One issue that holographic and nuncupative wills may face is that it’s hard to prove their validity. Holographic wills require that two individuals attest to the fact that the will is written in the testator’s handwriting. An oral will requires two witnesses who don’t have any interest in the estate. Plus, both the testator’s intentions can be left muddled by incomplete information, unclear bequests and contradictory clauses, among other issues. 

Are you ready to prepare your will?

An effective estate plan isn’t something that you can create on the fly. Working with an experienced attorney is often the best way to prepare for the future and make sure that you will and other estate plans actually hold up and meet your needs.