Do I need a lawyer to draw up a will?

Any person above 18 who is of sound mind can draft his own will. It need not be drawn up by a lawyer, but it’s best that you consult one who can provide some estate-planning advice.

Observe these guidelines:

1. Identify yourself as the maker of the will, and that a will is being made. Use the words “Last Will and Testament ” on the face of the document.

2. Declare that you revoke all previous wills (if you’ve written any).

3. Demonstrate that you are disposing of your property freely and willingly.

4. You must sign and date the will, preferably in the presence of at least two witnesses who are not beneficiaries in the will.

5. Place your signature at the end of the will. If this is not observed, any text following the signature will be ignored or the entire will may be invalidated.

6. Appoint an executor (the manager of your estate). In the case where there are any beneficiaries who are under 18, a trustee must also be named.

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