Different states have different laws and regulations when it comes to preparing a will, but is it legal in Georgia to draft your own?
13WMAZ's Jennifer Moulliet finds out in this week's Get Answers.
Duane Yates sent in a question asking, "Is a self-written Last Will and Testament legal in Georgia?"
Wespoke with Macon attorney, Susanna Patterson and she said a self-written Last Will is legal in Georgia but it has to be executed properly.
"It has to be witnessed by at least two unrelated parties and unrelated means they're not heirs of law to the person that's making the will. So they're not parents, children, anybody like that, they're not any people that are getting benefit from the will. So if you're leaving something for your friend, that friend can't witness the will and they're not any people that are being named in the will in any other capacity as testamentary guardians, trustees or executers." explains Patterson.
She says lawyers attach a self-proving affidavit to wills to prove the people that witness the will are old enough, mentally stable and aren't under the influence of someone else.
"A self-proving affidavit is a document where the witnesses swear to that so that when the testator dies, you don't have to track down those witnesses." says Patterson.
The self-proving affidavit must be notarized and drafted carefully to include everything a witness would have to testify to in court, says Patterson.
She says a self-written will is better than nothing, but to make sure the language of the will is clear, you may want to have a lawyer do it.
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