If your parent, spouse, child, or other loved one has died, it’s possible that you’ve seen their will. It’s also possible that you may question its authenticity or validity. Before you present your concerns about the will in court, it’s important to understand what makes a will valid.
What Makes a Will Valid?
Generally, an original copy of an olographic or notarial last will and testament is considered valid if a testator was of sound mind and created the will without undue influence or coercion. Additionally, the will must meet specific legal requirements.
Olographic or handwritten wills must be dated on the day the person creating the will (the testator) wrote and signed it. The entire will must be in the testator’s handwriting. Two witnesses should testify in court that the testator wrote and signed the will.
Notarial wills must be in writing, dated, and signed before a notary and two witnesses. The testator should sign each page of the document.
Talk to a Lawyer Before Presenting a Will to Court
According to the Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure Article 2853, anyone who has a document that may be the last will and testament of a deceased person shall present the will to the court to have it filed with the succession proceeding. Article 2853 makes it clear that you should present the will even if you believe that the document is not valid or you have concerns about its validity. By presenting the alleged will to the court, you are not vouching for the document’s authenticity or validity, and you may still argue that it is invalid.
However, before you submit anything to the court, you have the right to contact a Louisiana estate litigation attorney. Our attorneys can advise you on how to submit the document you have to the court and what to do if you want to challenge the will’s validity. We will explore all of your legal options, represent you in court, and help you through this process.
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