It is important that every adult has a will that explains how and to whom their end-of-life assets should be distributed. Although a will can fit into the bigger picture of an estate plan, it is always best for Wisconsin residents to talk to their estate planning attorneys about how best to accomplish their testamentary goals. This post provides information to its readers but should not be read as legal advice.

Wills drafted and executed in the state must meet several requirements. First, the creator of the will must be an adult. That means that they must be at least 18 years of age.

Second, adults who draft wills must be of sound mind. This term can be confusing but generally means that a person understands what they are agreeing to through the terms of their will. If a person lacks the capacity to understand what property they are bequeathing and to whom it is going, then they may be found to lack a sound mind and the ability to create a will.

Third, a Wisconsin will must be signed by two witnesses and those two witnesses must sign the will in each other’s presence as well as the presence of the will’s creator. A will may be deemed invalid if it is not signed by witnesses though out-of-state wills that meet the requirements of their jurisdictions may be recognized as valid if witness signatures is not mandated. Overall, though, wills in Wisconsin must be written and may not be communicated through spoken words.

Wills do not have to be complicated legal documents, but they must meet certain conditions in order to be valid and recognized by the courts after their creators’ deaths. Estate planning attorneys in the area can advise their clients of how to begin the process of drafting comprehensive and valid wills.