How to Make a Valid Will

While most state laws don’t have a specific form of Last Will & Testament, all of them have laws which set out the minimum elements required for a Last Will and Testament to be deemed a valid Will (or a legal Will).


In order to make a valid a Last Will & Testament, the flowing elements must be complied with:

  1. It must be made by someone who has reached the age of majority in his or her state;

  2. It must be made by someone voluntarily and without pressure from any other person;

  3. It must be made by someone who is of ‘sound and disposing mind’;

  4. It must be in writing (normally);

  5. The Will must be signed by the testator in the presence of two witnesses or, in the case of Wills executed in the state of Vermont, three witnesses;

  6. The Last Will & Testament must also be signed by all the witnesses in the presence of the testator (after he or she has signed it) and in the presence of each other. A beneficiary under the Last Will and Testament or the spouse of such a beneficiary should not act as a witness to the signing of the Last Will and Testament. If such a beneficiary or the spouse of such a beneficiary act as a witness, the gift to the beneficiary under the Last Will and Testament shall be deemed to be invalid, although the Last Will and Testament itself will remain valid; and

  7. The Last Will must include an attestation clause.


In the state of Louisiana, a notary must notarize the Last Will & Testament.

A Last Will and Testament is a fundamental part of estate planning and features in the vast majority of estate plans.



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Last Will and Testament

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