Common Problems With Last Wills and Testaments

Posted by John Crow | Aug 03, 2019 | 0 Comments

There are three different types of wills in Tennessee: the "normal" will, the holographic will, and the nuncupative will. Each of these types of wills have certain requirements under Tennessee law. So what happens if a part of the will is faulty or is not property executed? How big of a problem is it, even if the issue appears relatively minor?

That's an important question today with the prevalence of online will forms. With a few clicks of your mouse, you can purchase a last will and testament for a relatively low cost. These types of wills breed problems and estate lawyers are often called in to clean up the mess left behind. Issues with your last will and testament, no matter how small, can create will contests or, at worst, render the will invalid.

What Are Common Problems That Can Render Your Last Will and Testament Meaningless?

Below listed are a list of issues that can occur. Remember, a trusted, experienced estate planning lawyer in Clarksville, TN can help prevent these issues.

  • Improper witness signature. Two witnesses must sign a traditional typed will in the testator's presence and in the presence of each other. Many wills we see only have one witness' signature.
  • Absence of required mental state. A clause stating that the person signing the will was of sound mind is critical. Its absence may call into question the signer's capacity.
  • The will is not dated. Without a date, there is no way of telling how old the will is. If there are other wills presented to the probate court, the judge will have a hard time determining which will is the most current.
  • Failure to provide intent of will. The will must state what it is and the purpose of it.
  • Lack of specificity. The will should be specific as to its terms and conditions. If not, beneficiaries may contest it.
  • Jurisdiction issues. For instance, maybe you moved from one state to another and never confirmed your will adheres to the laws of the new state.

Prevent Problems: Contact a Trusted Tennessee Will Lawyer Today 

If these issues exist in your last will and testament when it is presented for probate, they can create massive problems. For example, a will contest could ensue. Will contests can be expensive, take a long time to conclude, and be stressful. At worst, your will would be thrown out and declared invalid. In that case, the laws of State of Tennessee would direct where your assets go. Having a Clarksville probate judge say where your assets go is not ideal. You likely want to make specific gifts and divide your estate a certain way. There may also be terms and conditions in your will that you want to be included. If your will has problems, then these wishes may not be followed.

At Crow Estate Planning and Probate, we are here to make sure that your will is properly written and executed. As an experienced will lawyer, John Crow has the experience and insight to identify the problems outlined above. Contact John W. Crow, trusted estate planning lawyer in the Clarksville, TN community, today.

About the Author

John Crow

John Crow is the founder of Crow Estate Planning and Probate, PLC, a boutique law firm with offices in Clarksville, Tennessee and Hopkinsville, Kentucky. He has extensive experience in guiding people through the important and often complex decisions surrounding wills, trusts, probate, conservatorships, and business formations.


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