Wills

Any person over the age of majority and of sound mind can draft his or her own will. Additional requirements may vary, depending on the jurisdiction, but generally include the following requirements:

The testator must clearly identify himself or herself as the maker of the will, and that a will is being made; this is commonly called "publication" of the will, and is typically satisfied by the words "last will and testament" on the face of the document.
The testator must declare that he or she revokes all previous wills and codicils. Otherwise, a subsequent will revokes earlier wills and codicils only to the extent to which they are inconsistent. However, if a subsequent will is completely inconsistent with an earlier one, the earlier will is considered completely revoked by implication.
The testator must demonstrate that he or she has the capacity to dispose of his or her property, and does so freely and willingly.

The testator must sign and date the will, usually in the presence of at least two disinterested witnesses (persons who are not beneficiaries). There may be extra witnesses, these are called "supernumary" witnesses, if there is a question as to an interested-party conflict.

The testator's signature must be placed at the end of the will. If this is not observed, any text following the signature will be ignored, or the entire will may be invalidated if what comes after the signature is so material that ignoring it would defeat the testator's intentions.

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Law Offices of Joseph J. Voccola, Esq.

454 Broadway
Providence, RI 02909
Phone: 401-751-3900
Fax: 401-751-8983
Email: joevoccola@joevoccolalawoffices.com

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