Wills & Trusts
Each State Has Strict Rules Governing the Creation and Operation of Wills
Each state has a certain number of requirements that operate to specify how a valid will may be prepared and what steps should be followed to prepare a will which can be probated at a later date. The purpose of these seemingly strict rules is to ensure that the person creating the will follows certain formal requirements and appreciates the seriousness of the legal act they are performing.
As we will see, you are asking the state, through the court system often known as the Probate Court, to oversee the disposition of your property, which the law regards very cautiously, in accordance with your wishes, but where you are not present to tell the judge how you want your estate to be distributed. You should understand that the court's orders are decisive and final and the result of these orders is that certain people important to you receive some or all of your property, and some people related to you may not receive all or some of your property as they expected. For this reason, the state laws governing wills are strict to make certain that fraudulent wills are not made giving people, other than those you actually desire, the right and interest in your property.
These same laws, as we will see, are very strict with respect to any changes you make to your will. Did you know that sometimes a simple spelling correction in a will might void the entire will? Understanding a bit more about what happens after you die, if you have a will, may give you a better understanding of the need to comply with these strict legal requirements in your state.