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What are the requirements for a valid will in Connecticut?

Drafting a will creates crucial protections for an individual and the people they love. A will helps convey someone’s last wishes to the probate courts and the person who assumes the responsibility of estate administration.

The laws in every state are slightly different, which can lead to a lot of confusion among those who need to draft wills and other estate planning paperwork. Documents that do not conform to state laws are unlikely to be enforceable in probate court. In fact, they could potentially trigger probate litigation in some cases.

What are the basic requirements for a valid will in Connecticut?

A competent adult testator

Someone generally needs to be a lawful adult to draft testamentary documents. The one exception to this rule involves a teenager who has successfully pursued emancipation before their 18th birthday. Otherwise, a testator needs to be at least 18 to draft a will. They also need to have testamentary capacity. That means they need to understand the terms of the will and how it may impact the people they love. Individuals with severe mental health disorders, cognitive decline and dementia are among those who lack the capacity to draft legal wills.

A written document

There are many ways for someone to effectively convey their preferences to others, but not all of them are an option when drafting a will. While people can communicate with each other via video footage or audio recordings, people cannot use video or audio recordings as their wills. Instead, testators generally need to draft written documents that they then sign.

Two adult witnesses

In order to affirm that someone is who they claim to be and that they have the necessary capacity to draft a will, other people need to be able to verify those details after someone dies. The law requires two adult witnesses who are either present at the time a testator signs of will or who personally witness them attest to signing it previously. Notarization is not necessary for the courts to recognize a will as valid in Connecticut.

Those who know the statutory requirements when drafting wills can create legally valid documents. Learning more about Connecticut probate rules – and seeking legal guidance whenever necessary – can be beneficial for an individual contemplating their final legacy.