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How to determine if your will is valid

| May 19, 2021 | Estate Planning

There are many reasons why a will may be invalidated by a California judge. For instance, the document may have been signed by individuals who were not eligible to serve as witnesses. It’s also possible that an heir will successfully challenge the document on the grounds that it was created under duress. Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to maximize the odds that your final instructions will be upheld during probate.

Make changes while you’re still of sound mind

Ideally, you will make any changes to your will as soon as possible after you think of them. As a general rule, it’s harder to claim that you weren’t of sound mind if you alter a will at age 50 as opposed to waiting until your 90th birthday to do so. It may also be a good idea to alter this document early in life if you’re at a higher risk of developing dementia or similar mental health conditions.

Have an attorney review your will

An estate planning attorney may be able to provide more insight into whether your will is properly structured. If there are any issues that need to be addressed, he or she may be able to help you make necessary changes in a timely manner. For instance, if you wrote your will before turning 18, he or she may recommend that you create a new version of this document.

If you are concerned about the validity of your estate plan, it may be a good idea to consult with an attorney. A legal adviser may be able to review a will, trust or other documents to determine if they were created correctly. It’s generally a good idea to review your estate plan once a year or after a major life event.