Estate planning can be overwhelming, especially when a Portland resident does not know where to start. Some individuals may believe that the assets and property that they own are not enough to warrant a comprehensive estate plan. However, no matter what financial stage a person has reached in life, they can benefit from having their testamentary intentions prepared in an estate plan.
One important component of many estate plans is the will. This post will briefly discuss Oregon’s requirements for a valid and enforceable will. No legal advice is provided in this post, and all will and estate planning questions should be directed to Oregon-based attorneys.
Elements of a valid will
A last will and testament must meet certain requirements in order to be enforceable by the courts of the state. Some of the elements that must be present or included in a will for it to be valid are:
- In writing: Oral wills are not recognized in Oregon. Similarly, handwritten wills that lack witnesses are not valid in the state.
- Prepared by qualified testators: People who make and execute wills must be adults and must have testamentary capacity (be of “sound mind”) to execute them.
- Signed by witnesses: In Oregon, two individuals must sign a person’s will to attest to its validity.
Beyond these requirements, wills may face scrutiny in probate if a beneficiary or possible beneficiary believes that they are invalid for technical reasons.
Getting started on a will and estate plan
A will is an important part of an estate plan, but it is not the only component that individuals execute to ensure that their assets are protected and their beneficiaries are provided for. Getting started with estate planning can feel overwhelming, but it does not have to be hard. A supportive and knowledgeable estate planning attorney can guide their client through the most difficult issues to protect them and their assets.