Wills and Trusts:

Requirements for Validity

In order for your will to be valid, the following requirements need to be met. You must:

  • Be at least 18 years old or legal age for the state or province you are living in or be an emancipated minor.
  • Know what a will is.
  • Know that you are making a will.
  • Understand the relationship between yourself and the people who care for you (i.e. immediate family members, including spouse and family).
  • Expressly state that this document is your will.
  • Sign and date the will.

Additional requirements for validity include the following:

  • The will must be signed ("attested") by at least two or three witnesses in order to validate it. The number of required witnesses depends on state or province law. It is recommended the witnesses not be related to you.
  • Both witnesses must be present at the same time.
  • A witness must be physically and mentally present at execution and able to give evidence of this.

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Wills and Trusts: Creation and Modification of Wills