Creating a will is a good way to protect your family after your death. It allows you to outline your wishes and state how you want the court to divide your assets. You can also use a will to provide legal guardians for your minor children. However, if you create a will, you must make sure it meets Washington law. Every state has its own requirements to make a will valid.
According to the Washington State Legislature, the state has several rules about different aspects of what constitutes a legal will. This includes information in the will and requirements for the actual document you create.
You must sign your will with your own signature. If you cannot sign the will due to physical limitations, you can make a mark and validate that it is your signature. You may also have someone else sign your name, but you must ask the person expressly to do so.
You must put your will in writing. Oral wills may not meet the requirements of the law.
You also must have at least two witnesses sign your will. These witnesses must be able to testify that you created and signed the will on your own without influence, and that you were of sound mind when you created the will. It is important that neither of the witnesses is an heir. They should be someone with no interest in your estate.
Finally, you must be at least 18 years old to create a will. Minors cannot create a valid and legal will under the law. You will also need to be mentally stable and competent.
Not meeting the legal requirements for a legal will means that someone could contest your will easily. The court may overturn your will and take over the distribution of your assets during probate. The court will handle your assets per the law for someone who dies without a will.