What Elements Do You Need For A Will To Be Valid In Georgia?
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What is a Will?
What elements do you need for a will to be valid in Georgia? Perigon Legal Services can explain all these elements to you in detail. Call us today for more information.
Leaving behind a clear will after your death is vital for your family. However, a will must meet several requirements to be found valid in probate court. According to Georgia law, a valid will must be in writing, and the testator must be capable of making rational decisions without influence or coercion.
Writing a will may sound like a simple task, but even minor mistakes, contradictions, or ambiguity can open it to challenges in court. Let our estate planning attorney at Perigon Legal Services help you prepare your will and eliminate uncertainties.
A will, also called a last will and testament, is a legal document in which a person states their wishes on how their property should be managed and distributed after they pass on. Creating a valid will makes accessing your assets easier and quicker for beneficiaries and eliminates family conflicts.
The person who makes the will is called the testator.
Wills generally provide instructions for settling an estate upon death. Other elements that testators usually include in the will are:
The designation of a legal guardian for their minor children
Making a provision for the care of their pets
Appointing executors to manage their estate and stating their duties
Leaving instructions for their funeral arrangements
What Determines the Validity of a Will in Georgia?
Under Georgia Law, a will must meet the following requirements to be valid:
Under O.C.G.A. § 53-4-20, wills must be in writing to be valid. Printed and handwritten wills are acceptable, whereas oral and holographic wills are not.
According to O.C.G.A. § 53-4-10(a), a testator must be at least 14 years or older.
Steps to Create a Valid Will in Georgia
What Happens If the Will Is Found Invalid?
Does the Will Need to be Notarized?
Georgia law doesn’t require the will to be notarized. All you need is the testimony of two competent witnesses for a will to be validated in court. However, if a testator chooses to self-prove the will, notarization is required according to O.C.G.A. § 53-4-24.
Self-proving a will speeds up the probate process, as no attesting witnesses will need to testify in court. Testators and their witnesses can self-prove a will by signing a self-proving certificate in the presence of a notary. The notary also signs to certify the legitimacy of the individuals who signed the will.
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