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Wills can be handwritten, computer generated, or oral. It is safest to have a will drawn up by a lawyer. Most wills (holographic wills are the exception) must be signed, witnessed by two or more people, and notarized.

Wills should be stored in a safe place; however, a safe-deposit box is not always a good place to store a will because the safe deposit box may be sealed upon your death. Always tell someone you trust where your will is so it can be found upon your death.

In order to have a valid will, a person must have mental competence and must not be under undue influence from another person. For a will to be valid, it must also conform to the laws of the state in which it is written.

An amendment to a will (a codicil) institutes minor changes to the original will. To be effective, a codicil must be signed, witnessed, and attached to the original will. However, if the changes are major, a new will should be drafted.


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