What are the legalities of executing a Will?

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What are the legalities of executing a Will?

My mom and step-dad created separate Wills 2 years ago. He passed away a few weeks ago, now his disinherited daughter had a letter sent to my mom asking if there was a Will. When she took the Will to a lawyer today she found out there maybe a problem with his Will. He had her sign the Will for him. It was done in front of 2 other people and 1of them was the notary that stamped the Will. He was of sound mind, he had an undiagnosed illness that made him shake making his writing unreadable, so she signed for him. Is it a valid Will?

Asked on June 24, 2011 under Estate Planning, Tennessee

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for the situation at hand.  Yes, there may be a problem with the Will.  You can not sign someone else's Will for them.  I am assuming that they created they Wills without an attorney and executed them without an attorney as well, correct?  If an attorney had been use they could have had him sign even an "x" to mark his signature.  But he had to sign it.  If she contests that Will - and I think that she probably will - then it will be invalidated and he will be deemed to have dies "intestate" thus invoking the intestacy laws in the state of Tennessee.  His daughter will then inherit a portion of the estate as well.


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