If a person dies and only has a draft of a Will that was drawn up by an attorney, is that draft legal?

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If a person dies and only has a draft of a Will that was drawn up by an attorney, is that draft legal?

My father passed a way and made me his executor but my older brother, whom has been estranged from the family, challenges that because it was not finalized it is not valid.

Asked on March 25, 2018 under Estate Planning, Wisconsin

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

By draft I assume that you mean the Will is unsigned and/or unwitnessed. Unfortunately, without being legally executed, then it is not valid. In other words, abssent a previous legal Will having been done, your father died "intestate" which means that his surviving spouse, if any, and his children are his recognized "heirs". Accordingly, you and all of your siblings have the right to share in the estate.

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

By draft I assume that you mean the Will is unsigned and/or unwitnessed. Unfortunately, without being legally executed, then it is not valid. In other words, abssent a previous legal Will having been done, your father died "intestate" which means that his surviving spouse, if any, and his children are his recognized "heirs". Accordingly, you and all of your siblings have the right to share in the estate.


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