Are forms from a Will kit valid or is it necessary to have a lawyer do them?

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Are forms from a Will kit valid or is it necessary to have a lawyer do them?

Asked on August 9, 2010 under Estate Planning, Tennessee

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Wills do not have to be drawn up by an attorney to be valid.  They have to comply with the laws in the state in which they are made to be valid.  That generally means that they have to be written (typed or printed) and that they have to be validly executed in front of witnesses.  Certain states allow for other types of wills (handwritten for example) but they are few and far between.  What is of concern is that the Will complies with your state laws.  There are certain paragraphs that are general and accepted by all. But the execution before the witnesses is really the most important thing. In Tennessee, the laws regarding the valid execution and witnessing of a Will are set forth in the Tennessee Code, Title 32 Wills, Chapter 1 Execution of Wills, Sections 32-1-102 through 32-1-104; and Chapter 2 Probate of Wills, Section 32-2-110. Familiarize yourself and then you should be ok.  But having an attorney is always a good idea. Good luck.
 


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