Making the choice to draft a will is a very responsible decision. Although no one wants to think about their death, having a valid will in place reassures you that your property will be distributed the way you want it, and your loved ones will be taken care of.
Since you’ve made the decision to draft your will, you want to be sure to complete all the requirements for a valid will. In addition to stating how you would like your property to be divided, you must appoint someone to oversee distributing the property.
Appointing an executor and guardian
This person is called an executor. You can choose anyone to be an executor, but you should talk with them about serving in the role first. You do not want to appoint someone as an executor who sees their obligation as a burden, or who is someone you do not fully trust.
If you have minor children, you can also name someone in your will to serve as the children’s guardian. Again, speak with your potential guardian about taking on this obligation, as it comes with major responsibilities.
Once you are ready to have your will drafted, it might help to work with an experienced estate planning attorney. Your will must be in writing and signed in front of two witnesses.
You and your witnesses must be at least 14 years old and be of sound mind. This means that all of you must understand what it is you are doing.
Signing your will
Your signature does not have to be your full name written out. If you cannot write your name, you can make any mark to serve as your signature, or someone else can sign for you with your permission.
Although you do not have to notarize your will, you and your witnesses can sign an affidavit stating your identities and stating your acknowledgment that you signed the will.
The benefit of a self-proving will
This will make your will a “self-proving” will, which means your will can be admitted to the probate court and the court will not need to contact your witnesses.
Once your will is drafted and signed, you will have the comfort and security that comes with knowing your loved ones will be taken care of if something happens to you. You will also be saving them the cost and stress of the Georgia probate process.