The Importance of Creating a Last Will & Testament

 In Probate

While creating a last will and testament may not be a priority for many people, doing so is vitally important for the safe and uncontested transfer of wealth and property to your loved ones should something happen to you. A will also gives you the power to name a trusted guardian for your minor children, a reliable manager for any property you may leave to your children or other relatives, and an dependable executor that will ensure your clearly stated wishes are carried out.

There are several factors you should consider when drafting a will. Some common questions people have about creating a will include:

  • What happens if I die without a will (intestate)? Then the state will distribute your property according to its “intestacy” laws. In Tennessee, your property will be distributed to your closest relatives, starting with your spouse and children. If you have no living relatives by blood or marriage, then the state will take your property.
  • Does my will need to be notarized? Simply put, no. In Tennessee, as in most states, a will does not have to be notarized to carry legal force. (Only Louisiana requires a will to be notarized.) You are able to finalize a will by signing it in front of 2 witnesses, and having both of them sign it in turn. However, if you want to make your will “self-proving,” or upheld as valid without contacting your witnesses, then you must have it notarized.
  • Do I need to consult a lawyer about my will? While you are not legally required to use the services of a lawyer to create your will, in some cases it may be advisable to do so. For example, if you want to disinherit your spouse or you think that your family or relatives will contest your will, you may want to seek professional advice.

At Slaughter Law Firm, our legal expertise in the creation of a last will and testament has helped many clients enjoy peace of mind over the years. Contact us today for a free consultation.