Who May Make a Will?

Hey everybody! I just wanted to give you this quick introduction to let you know exactly what this is. Because we want to be the best estate planning attorneys in the world, we are intentional about learning something new every day.

One of the ways we do that is by reading one statute (aka law) every day. When we get to the end we go back to the beginning.

I figured as long as we were reading it we might as well be writing about it, teaching about it, and strategizing about it. And that’s what we are doing here. Enjoy!

Who May Make a Will

Today’s statute of the day is RCW 11.12.020: “Who May Make a Will.”

First, here’s what the statute says:

Any person of sound mind who has attained the age of eighteen years may, by last will, devise all his or her estate, both real and personal.

All wills executed subsequent to September 16, 1940, and which meet the requirements of this section are hereby validated and shall have the force and effect of wills executed subsequent to the taking effect of this section.

Whew, what a mouthful. Let me interpret.

If you aren’t crazy and are at least eighteen years old you can give away any real estate you own and any other property you own via a will.

Now, let’s talk strategy.

If you are ever going to contest a will, these will have to be the major points of contention. You will want to prove one of two things:

First, that the person was not of sound mind: they were incapacitated (think Alzheimers Disease) or they were acting under undue influence; OR

Second, that they were not eighteen years old yet.

There you have it. Another nugget from the law books themselves.

Christopher Small is the founder of CMS Law Firm LLC and a darn good Bellevue estate planning attorney. If you need help with a will, trust, probate, or will contest, you should probably call him and talk to him to find out what kind of help you need, if you need any help at all.