How do I create a valid Will in Tennessee?
Making a Will in Tennessee may create problems when distributing your estate if you use a do-it-yourself Will template. When using a DIY Will you run the risk that your assets may not be distributed according to your wishes. Without a valid Will in Tennessee, your property will be distributed under state law, which may be contrary to your exact wishes.
The requirements for the execution of a valid Will in Tennessee:
- Written. Wills must be in writing.
- Witnessed and signed. The testator (the individual creating the Will) must sign it in the presence of two (or more) witnesses, and the witnesses must sign as well.
- Tennessee does recognize Wills written by hand, and they do not necessarily have to be notarized or witnessed. These are called holographic Wills. Holographic Wills are conditionally valid. If you choose to rely on a holographic Will, you create the potential for your Will to be invalid in another state should you relocate. Another condition of a holographic Will’s validity is that an individual must prove that the Will is in fact written in your handwriting.
- If you had a Tennessee estate planning attorney create a Will and it was executed properly, but you have decided to make amendments yourself by crossing out and initialing areas, these actions will typically void your Will.
Although the simple requirements of Wills in Tennessee and the low cost of a DIY Will may be attractive, a Will prepared by an estate planning lawyer familiar with Tennessee law will ensure your Will is not only valid, but contains the provisions necessary for the orderly distribution of your estate.
Schedule a consultation with our Tennessee estate planning lawyers to discuss creating or revising your Will. If a loved one has died without a Will, our attorneys can also explain Tennessee intestacy laws. 800-201-0413