Knowledge Center

Last Will FAQ

What makes a last will legal?

The court will not enforce your last will unless the following criteria are met:

  • Soundness of Mind: You must be of sound mind.

  • Free Will: You must be acting of your own free will without undue influence or duress from others.

  • Witnesses: At least two people must watch you sign the last will. They cannot be related to you and cannot be entitled to receive anything under the last will.

In addition to these provisions, the law also requires that a last will's appearance be uniform: all important sections should be entirely typewritten or computer-generated. Although some states allow last wills that are entirely handwritten, this option is not recommended (See section immediately below.). Typically, you do not have to get your last will notarized. However LegalZoom allows you to "self-prove" your last will (when allowed by state law). For self-proving last wills, you must have a separate affidavit notarized. The advantage of self proving last wills is that witnesses do not have to be located after your death.

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