- The person’s name, city, and state of residence;
- Appointment of the Personal Representative (executor);
- Appointment of the guardian for minor children;
- Statement of specific transfers (bequests);
- Statement of who gets the balance of the estate;
- Instructions for the executor to follow and powers granted;
- A description of controls you want over bequests to minors;
- A place for the testator to sign and date the will; and
- A declaration that two witnesses sign stating that they witnessed the signing and that the testator was of sound mind. A notary public signs this section as well.
A will must meet specific requirements to be a valid document that controls the disposition of the testator’s estate. At the time that the will is created, the testator must satisfy each of the following elements:
- Have the proper capacity, or ability to understand his/her decisions
- Have the intent to create a will
- Sign and date the will in the presence of two witnesses, and
- Never subsequently revoke the will.
A well-drafted will should be type-written, signed by the estator in the presence of two witnesses, and it should also include a self-proving affidavit signed by the testator, his two witnesses, and a notary. The self-proving affidavit is an affidavit attached to the will wherein the testator and his witnesses swear to the fact that the testator signed the will in the presence of the witnesses and that he intended it to be his will and had the required capacity to create a will. The affidavit also confirms that each of the witnesses were over the age of 14 at the time they signed the will and that they saw each other sign the Will.