When you die, the court may not recognize your wishes if they do not appear in a valid will. Each state has different laws about what makes a person’s will valid.
As you begin the estate planning process, review the requirements for a legal will in Virginia, even if you already created a will in another state.
Attributes of the will
Virginia law requires your will to be in writing. In addition to deciding who should receive each of your assets when you die, your will can also name a trusted person to handle your estate, name a guardian for your young children, and establish a trust and name a trustee for the care of minor children.
After you create your will, you must sign it in front of two people who are mentally competent and at least 18 years old. These witnesses must also sign the will.
Virginia does not require you to have your will notarized. However, doing so will help ensure its legal validity.
Other aspects of validity
You can make a will as long as you are at least 18 years old and mentally competent. That means you understand that you are creating a legal document that determines what happens to your personal assets after you die.
The court will find a will invalid if proof exists that the person created or signed the document under undue influence, duress or fraud. That means someone forced or threatened you to sign the will or forged your signature.
You can change or revoke your will at any time, either by destroying the physical document, creating a new valid will or issuing a written revocation.