If you are considering writing a will, you should ensure that it meets the requirements of the law. Keep reading to find out the essential elements that make a will valid in Georgia.
What Is a Will?
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A will, also known as a last will and testament, is a legal document that explicitly sets out what becomes of a person’s property or estate after they die. The person who makes the will is called the testator.
Functions of a Will
A will expresses the desires and wishes of its maker with the intention that those wishes be carried out after they die. Contrary to popular belief, the function of a will is not limited to the distribution of assets alone. Instead, it is used to carry out any instruction of the testator, including;
Appointing a legal guardian for the testator’s minor children
Making provision for the care of pets
Leaving instructions for the testator’s funeral arrangements
Appointing executors to administer and manage the testator’s estate and carry out all other instructions in the will.
Essential Elements of a Valid Will
The question now is, what elements do you need for a will to be valid in Georgia? Under Georgia State law, a valid will must have certain features as follows:
Georgia wills must be in writing to be valid. Acceptable forms include printed wills and handwritten wills. Oral wills and holographic wills are generally not accepted in Georgia law.
The testator must be at least 14 years of age or older for their will to be considered valid in Georgia.
3. Testamentary Capacity
The testator must be of sound mind and capable of rational decision-making while making the will. They must also be free from coercion and any undue influence during the process.
The testator must sign the will. If the testator is perhaps physically unable to sign the will, they may direct another person to do so for them. The testator must also sign the will before two witnesses.
5. Attestation of Witnesses
The will must also be signed by at least two witnesses aged 14 or over in the testator’s presence. They must be competent witnesses and be available to witness the testator signing the document.
A witness may also be a beneficiary without losing their gift stated on the will only if at least two other disinterested witnesses sign the will.