Many people take the time to carefully draft a last will and testament, but they sign the document in a way that doesn’t comply with the law — which makes the will vulnerable to being invalidated. If you are in the process of drafting your will, it’s important that you adhere carefully to the law to ensure this vital estate planning document holds up in court should it ever be challenged.
Here are a few pieces of advice for lawfully signing your will:
Make sure that the necessary witnesses are present: In Louisiana, it’s necessary for two witnesses to be present during the signing of the will. They must also sign the will and witness each other sign it. These witnesses cannot be blind or insane, they must be able to sign their names and they need to be at least 16 years of age.
Consider a “self-proving” affidavit: A self-proving affidavit is a good thing to have your witnesses sign. This document is signed and sworn statement done before a notary public and it prevents your witnesses from needing to testify in probate court a later time.
Tell your executor about the location of the will: Your executor should know about the location of your will, i.e., where to find it in the event of your death. You should also confirm that your executor is ready and willing to fulfill the responsibility of being an executor before you name him or her in the document.
Make sure your will is valid in your current state: Some states have different laws that apply to a last will and testament. If you moved to Louisiana from a different state, you may want to ensure that your will is appropriately drafted to comply with the laws of this state.
These are just a few pieces of advice for estate planners who are drafting and signing a will in Louisiana. To confirm that you are on the right track and that your will complies with all state estate planning laws, you may want to study up on common estate planning practices before you sign and execute your finalized will.