CAN YOU MAKE YOUR OWN WILL IN GEORGIA?
Yes, you absolutely can make your own Will in Georgia. There is no requirement that you hire an attorney to help you draft and execute your Will. In fact, it’s not that difficult to make a “legally valid” Will in Georgia. Here is what’s required:
- the testator (the person making the Will) must be of sound mind and at least 14 years old,
- the Will must be in writing,
- the Will must be signed by the Testator, and
- the Will must be witnessed and signed by two competent witnesses.
However, just because you can doesn’t mean you should. It’s really a matter of time and money. A Will drafted by an attorney who is experienced with probate and estate planning can make the probate process easier for your friends/loved ones by:
- making it more difficult for your loved ones to fight over your estate,
- reducing the cost of the process, by relieving the executor of purchasing a bond,
- reducing the amount of paperwork and reporting required to be filed with the Court, by relieving the executor of filing inventories and annual returns with the Court and by giving your executor the powers needed to administer your estate without constant Court interaction and supervision, and
- saving time and energy, by attaching a self-proving affidavit to the Will so that your family doesn’t have to track down the witnesses at the time of your death.
In summary, the money you save by making your own Will now will be nowhere close to the additional cost and headaches for your family as they try to probate that Will and administer your estate when you die.