Estate Planning Part 05 – Legal Capacity of a Will

As we mentioned in previous articles, estate planning is the process of accumulating and disposing of wealth before death of individual of group of owner known as estate owner including married couple. It aims is to maximize the wealth of the estate owner. The most important goal of estate planning is to make sure that the greatest amount of the estate passes to the estate owner’s intended beneficiaries while paying the least amount of taxes. Legal capacity of a will is one the process necessary in estate planning to ensure that the estate is distributed as the estate owner wish or otherwise the will is null.

I. Definition
Legal capacity of a will is a law of the state and provincial government that helps to make a will valid.

II. What makes a will valid
a) Age
Since most state and provincial government defines a certain age for people have the legal capacity to create a valid will. In most states and provinces, the age is set at 18, meaning anyone 18 or older has the legal capacity to create a will. However, a few states set the age lower, but in Canada most provinces have an age of majority at 19.
b) Testamentary capacity
Testamentary capacity is defined as a person’s legal and mental ability to make a valid will.This means the person must have a sound mind and memory or disposing mind and memory. Since The requirements for testamentary capacity is minimum, it is up to the estate owner to make a will valid without being contested upon his or her death.

c) Testamentary intend
Testamentary intend means that the person who make the will have the intention to instruct what you want your estate to be distributed. You make sure that your have a clear intention of what you want your wealth to be distributed to avoid any unnecessary will contest up on your death.
d) Will formalities
The general formalities of wills include the following
i) Attested will
It is a witness will. It must be signed by the estate owner and witnessed and signed by those witnesses.
ii) Holographic will
It is hand written by estate owner. Holographic will is not required to be witness.
iii) Nuncupative will
Nuncupative will also known as oral will or verbal will, it must have two witnesses. Oral will usually uses when a person who is in terminal illness and unable to draw a proper written will.

I hope this information will help. If you need more information or insurance advices, please follow my article series of the above subject at my home page at:

Source by Kyle J. Norton

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