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Do It Yourself Wills-6 Steps to Making a Will Legal

Making of a Simple Will

Making of a will is an important process for avoiding conflicts, which may occur after death. It is a public document and as such, emotional issues or information which may embarrass the family should be avoided. Here is a guide on how to make a will legal.

Step 1: Get a piece of paper and a pen, or open a document on your computer.

Step 2: Write: " I (fill your name here) or Box (fill your address here) and state you are an adult of sound mind"

Step 3: Declare invalid any previous wills in this way: " I, ( name here) revoke all wills, testamentary dispositions and/or codicil previously made by myself wherever and whenever they may be found, and declare this to be my last will and testament."

Step 4: Make provisions for the payment of debts and expenses by stating: " I direct that the executor pay all my just debts and liabilities, including funeral expenses, from my assets."

Step 5: Name your beneficiaries: " I devise and bequeath all the funds held in my account ( fill in account number and bank name) to ( fill in your chosen beneficiary)." You can also say: " All my interests in my account ( fill in account number and bank name) should be inherited by ...." If it is land you are bequeathing, substitute the account number for the parcel number of the land, and so on for all the assets you wish to give. If you have multiple beneficiaries, name them and include what part of your assets you are giving to them. Include all your assets and describe them clearly.

You can also include assets which you may acquire after death, and how you want the same to be inherited. "Any residue of my estate not included in this will to be shared equally among my three children," for example. If you have very young children, you can appoint a person to be the guardian of the minors and hold the property in trust for them.

Step 6: Sign and date the will and have two witnesses also sign. You can include the place the will was signed. If the will is composed of many pages, it is advisable to sign each. Remember, if the will is disputed, the witnesses may be called in to testify. Nowadays , you can make your will online. with an easy to use software, you can have a simple will that is valid in your state or country all printed up and ready to be witnessed.

Note: The person making the will must be an adult of sound mind. Any person challenging the will on these grounds must provide medical evidence to prove so. A will can be kept in safe custody with the bank, executor, an advocate or a trusted person with clear instructions on whom should be given the will upon the death of the person making the will.

I have received a number of questions in regards to wills. Here are some researched answers to the most common ones (note: this may not be binding in all the regions, so be sure to consult your lawyer.)

Can one revoke a will, or am I bound by it forever?
Yes, you are allowed to revoke or even alter your will. However, the Law of succession Act provides for three instances in which one may revoke a will: If it is destroyed, if another will is written to revoke the previous will, and if the maker marries, unless of course, he made the will in contemplating of marriage.

If a person makes a will but later wishes to alter its contents, how does one go about this?
It is important to note that once it is made, the will remains the same. However, should the maker wish to alter it, he or she does it through a document referred to as a codicil, which will be attached to the original will. A codicil is a document made in relation to a will, explaining, altering or adding to its content. The codicil should also be signed by the maker of the will.

Are oral wills valid?
In some countries such as Kenya, oral wills are recognized. For an oral will to be valid. It has to be made before two or more competent witnesses. Also, it is not valid if the maker is still alive three months after making it. The rationale behind the three-month period is that it is difficult for one to recall what was exactly said as time passes by. It must also be made in the presence of two competent witnesses. Competent witnesses are defined in the Law of Succession Act as adults of sound mind.

If the maker of the will dies before signing it, is the will valid?
A will is only valid if the maker of the will has signed, affixed his mark to the will, or it has been signed by another person in their presence, and through the direction of the will maker.


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