A Last Will and Testament, known as a Will, is a legal document created by an individual instructing how they would like their final wishes to be carried out after death. In the state of Massachusetts, if a person dies without a Will, state laws will determine how and to whom the person’s assets will be distributed.
This process is referred to as intestacy law, and the court’s distribution of a person’s estate cannot be disputed beneficiaries. This is why having a Will is one of the most important legal documents a person can create.
To be considered legal and executable upon death, there are a set of legal requirements set forth by the state for it to be valid. The document must be printed or typed, signed by the person creating the Will, and signed by two witnesses. The witnesses must be present during the execution of the document by the creator as well as bear witness to the signing of the document by all parties.
The state of Massachusetts allows any person of eighteen (18) years of age and of sound mind to create an executable Will. In the event the Will creator, known as the testator, cannot sign for themselves, another party can be directed to do so. The state recommends the witnesses be separate from designated beneficiaries outlined in the Will.
An attorney is not required for one to create an official Will. However, advisement from an attorney can help you navigate through complex legal matters and address your particular legal needs.