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Is a handwritten will valid?

| Mar 14, 2018 | Estate Planning |

People in Ohio who want to protect their assets and decrease the stress of their loved ones after they are gone may choose to have a will. In the state, a valid will may be typed or handwritten by the testator. While many people choose to type the document, some decide a handwritten one is preferred, which comes with certain benefits as well as some downfalls.

According to the Ohio State Bar Association, there are a  number of requirements that make a handwritten will valid. One is that it needs to be signed by the testator as well as two witnesses. These witnesses need to be competent and cannot benefit from the will, as this ensures they will not be influential. While a testator may write the will as they see fit, it is wise to consult with an attorney to ensure it is legally valid, especially since some judges may question its validity, and that the writer considers everything.

A handwritten will has both positives and negatives. FindLaw points out one advantage is it may be thought to be a more trustworthy document, as the directives are in the testator’s own handwriting. This type of will is typically not recommended for those with a large number of assets because it makes it more difficult to carry out. If changes are made to the will this can also complicate things, as it can be confusing when things are crossed out. This may lead to complex legal battles after the testator passes away. 

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