On November 20, 2014

Wrapping up our blog series FAQs about Drafting Wills, below is some additional important info regarding drafting wills.

Q – How should wills be prepared? Can they be handwritten?

While these FAQs about drafting wills are helpful, contact our Denver wills lawyers when you are ready to move forward with any of your estate planning needs.

While these FAQs about drafting wills are helpful, contact our Denver wills lawyers when you are ready to move forward with any of your estate planning needs.

A – When drafting wills, the following is what people should keep in mind in order to ensure that they are drafting legally binding, comprehensive and effective wills:

  • Wills should be signed and dated by the willmakers (i.e., the people who are the subjects of the wills).
  • At least two uninterested parties must witness the authorization of the will.
  • The will must be notarized by a Notary Public.
  • Wills should preferably be typed. Although handwritten wills (or holographic wills) are recognized in Colorado, these types of wills tend to be problematic, as they commonly lead to ambiguities, delays, will challenges and expensive probate or litigation.

Because drafting wills can be a complicated process – and because people may not be familiar with all of the aspects necessary to drafting wills that are legally binding, it’s advised that people work with experienced estate planning attorneys when drafting wills.

Q – After drafting wills, can they be changed in the future?

A – Absolutely! As long as the willmakers are of sound mind and are not being unduly influenced by others, revising wills that have already been drafted is always an option. Similarly, people can revoke their wills at any time if they choose to do so.

Here, we would like to also note that people should be diligent about updating their wills whenever major life changes arise, as such changes can impact the terms of the will. In fact, the Colorado Bar Association recommends updating wills whenever life changes like the following occur:

  • Moving to another state
  • Getting married or divorced
  • New children being born into the family
  • New major assets being acquired by the willmaker (such as new real estate coming under the willmaker’s ownership).

Additionally, it’s advised to consider reviewing and updating a will on a regular basis even if willmakers haven’t experienced any major life changes recently. For instance, reviewing wills every year or every other year is a good practice that can ensure the terms of a will are properly updated.

Q – Is it necessary to retain an attorney when drafting wills?

A – Yes! There can be a lot of issues to review and make decisions about when drafting wills, and an experienced estate planning lawyer will be ready to point these issues out and identify people’s best options for resolving them.

Additionally, by retaining and working with a lawyer when drafting wills, people can be sure that:

  • Their final wishes are accurately and clearly laid out in their wills.
  • There will be a minimal possibility of challenges to wills in the future.
  • Their loved ones experience minimal stress, costs and problems when it comes time to administer wills after willmakers pass away.

Denver Wills Attorneys at JR Phillips & Associates, PC

When you are ready to draft a will or explore your other estate planning option, you can turn to the wills and estate planning lawyers at JR Phillips & Associates, PC. We provide a thoughtful, comprehensive approach to our clients’ estate planning, elder law and other legal needs, and we take pride in helping each of our clients and their families find the best solutions for them.

To find out more about how we can help you, call us at (303) 741-2400, or email us using the contact form at the top of this page.

From our offices in Denver, we serve clients throughout the southwest and southeast Metro Area, including (but not limited to) people in Highlands Ranch, Littleton, Castle Rock, Parker, Aurora, Greenwood Village and Englewood.

Categories: Drafting Wills, Estate Planning