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What are the witness requirements for a will in Kentucky?

On Behalf of | Jan 29, 2023 | Estate Planning |

If you undergo the effort to create an estate plan or will, you want to create documents that will have legal authority in the Kentucky probate courts. You do not want to end up in a situation where the documents you draft fail to achieve the intended results because someone contests your will and convinces the courts to throw out your estate plan. At that point, either older versions of your documents or state intestate succession laws would determine what happens to your property.

Those drafting wills need to carefully comply with Kentucky laws to create valid documents. In addition to ensuring that your will and other estate planning documents do not violate state law, you also need to ensure that they meet the basic requirements for testamentary documents.

Kentucky state law imposes a witness requirement for most wills, and you will need to meet the state standard for your will to determine what happens with your property.

What is the state rule for witnesses?

An individual can typically only create a will when they are a legal adult who has legal testamentary capacity. The presence of witnesses at the signing of a will helps minimize the likelihood of fraud, coercion or undue influence affecting the contents of someone’s estate plan. It can also help reduce claims in the future that someone lacked the necessary capacity to draft valid documents.

Typically, your Kentucky will requires your signature, and you will need to sign it in the presence of two adult witnesses who also sign the document. Without witnesses, your will may be vulnerable to challenges. The lack of witnesses is in part why creating your own will, especially using software, can be a dangerous decision.

Small mistakes can underline your legacy

You may have specific intentions for your property after you die, but you never know if the people you love might try to challenge those wishes. The best way to protect yourself from an unfavorable outcome in probate court that completely destroys your plans is to take great care during the estate planning process to educate yourself about state law and to comply with it.

Securing professional help when creating or updating your will can help you avoid the mistakes that people sometimes make that will affect the validity of their documents later.