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Valid or Not? Virginia Law Regarding Wills

Posted on : March 21, 2018, By:  George Dillon

Individual states may have very different laws, and estate planning laws are no exception. What passes for a valid Will in one state may not hit the mark in another. Virginia law sets out some guidelines on Wills.

The Testator

The person who makes and signs the Will is the testator. For a Will to be considered valid, the testator must be 18 years of age or older and of sound mind. An emancipated minor may be allowed to write a Will. The testator must be making the Will of his or her own accord and not under duress or the influence of another person.

The Construction

According to Virginia law:

  1. No will shall be valid unless it is in writing and signed by the testator, or by some other person in the testator’s presence and by his direction, in such manner as to make it manifest that the name is intended as a signature.

So, the Will must be in writing, which includes typing.

  1. A will wholly in the testator’s handwriting is valid without further requirements, provided that the fact the will is wholly in the testator’s handwriting and signed by the testator is proved by at least two disinterested witnesses.

Some states do not recognize holographic Wills. However, a holographic Will presented to a Virginia court may be considered valid if it is written entirely in the testator’s handwriting, and it must be signed and dated by the testator.

Electronic Wills are not permitted in Virginia, and most other states.

The Execution

The testator must sign the Will before two competent people, who sign the Will as witnesses. The witnesses must be in the presence of the testator when he or she signs, and the testator must be in the presence of the witnesses when they sign.

Is Your Will Valid?

Was your Will done years ago? Was it prepared while you lived in another state? Have your Will reviewed to make sure it still works.

At Dillon Law Group, PLC, the attorneys work with you to evaluate your needs and develop a comprehensive estate plan. Please contact us at 757-962-4796 to set up an appointment or use the Contact Form on our website, https://www.dillonlawgrp.com/. Our offices are located in Virginia Beach and Newport News.

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