James D. Lynch
What are the requirements for a valid will?
State laws differ, but in general the requirements are:
● Age: The person making the will (known as the “testator”) must be 18 years old or older.
● Capacity: The testator must be of sound mind.
● Intent: The testator must have “testamentary intent” (i.e. the intent to make a disposition upon his/her death, NOT a present disposition or a future lifetime disposition).
● Writing: The will must be in writing.
● Signature: The testator must sign the will.
● Witnesses: If the will is not a holograph, the will must be signed by at least two witnesses. The witnesses must be “disinterested” (i.e. the witnesses cannot also be beneficiaries under the will). The testator must sign the will in the presence of the witnesses.