In Oregon and throughout the country, most people would rather discuss just about any topic other than their own mortality. Some, such as those who are diagnosed with a terminal illness, are forced to have such conversations as they come to terms with the reality of their situations. Anyone who is interested in the estate planning process must also think about the future and make decisions about assets and other issues, such as individual preferences for end-of-life care.
An estate plan often includes numerous documents. One of the most basic is a last will and testament. It is always best to ask someone who is well-versed in estate planning laws to review a will before signing one. There are certain requirements that must be met for a will to be valid and legally enforceable.
Signing a will as part of the estate planning process
Keep the information included in the following list in mind when executing a testamentary will:
- The testator (person signing) must be of sound mind and not under duress.
- A will may be handwritten provided it complies with Oregon estate laws.
- Changes and updates can be made if the testator is of sound mind at the time and the appropriate documents are prepared.
- A testator must demonstrate testamentary capacity, which basically means that he or she understands the implications of the will being signed, including asset value, beneficiaries and more.
- A testator must be age 18 or older when executing a will.
In Oregon, a testator must have two witnesses who sign the will to acknowledge the testator’s signature. If requirements are not met, someone might contest the will during probate.
Seek legal support if estate planning issues arise
It is best to rely on experienced guidance and support for legal problems pertaining to the estate planning process. An estate and probate law attorney can remain on hand to address any issues of concern, not only for a testator but for executors or beneficiaries, as well.