Must I give something to a relative to make a Will binding?

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Must I give something to a relative to make a Will binding?

Can the total estate go to a non-relative. There are no siblings, children or parents, only cousins.

Asked on September 30, 2011 under Estate Planning, Pennsylvania

Answers:

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

There is no requirement that the relatives of a testator (i.e. the maker of a Will) must inherit. Even children do not have automatic rights of inheritance. As long as the Will conforms with the mandated state requirments for valid execution, it is legal. So if the testator was of age and mental capacity, it was signed by the testator, the proper number of witnesses were present and attested to its execution, etc. it will hold up to any challenge by family members.


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