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Wills preparation: Is your will valid?

Most people in Georgia know what a will is. These legal documents give people the opportunity to outline their wishes regarding their property after they die, including whether certain properties should be sold or what should be given to heirs. Parents can even select guardians for their minor children and include that information as well. However, wills preparation is not as simple as quickly jotting down a few wishes on a piece of paper and calling it a day.

In order to be upheld and enforced, a will must be valid. There are a number of factors that affect validity, including the age of the person making the will. In general, a person must either be at least 18 years old, although there are some exceptions to this limit such as service in the U.S. military. Being old enough is not always enough, though.

A person must also have something called testamentary capacity, meaning that he or she must understand the implications of making a will. This includes understanding the extent and nature of an estate, regardless of whether a person’s assets are limited or quite expansive. With this understanding, the creator must also have intent to make the will and do so voluntarily.

So long as these and other requirements are met — including having a will witnessed, signed and dated by two other people — a will should usually be valid. However, with an entire estate on the line, many people prefer to take a proactive approach. Speaking with an experienced Georgia attorney regarding wills preparation can help an individual address any concerns he or she may have regarding the estate planning process.