How do I know if my grandpa’s Will valid?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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How do I know if my grandpa’s Will valid?

My grandfather passed away last month. In his Will, all his personal property was left to me and I was designated as his Personal Representative. My uncle, his son, is contesting that the Will is not valid. What specifically does a Will need to have in order to be valid?

Asked on January 22, 2019 under Estate Planning, New Mexico


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

To be valid:
1) Your grandfather must have been mentally competent when making it.
2) Your grandfather must not have been subject to coercion, duress, or other illegal or clearly improper pressure (e.g. sometimes called "undue influence") when making it.
3) It must have been signed by him in front of two witnesses, who then each sign in front of each other.
It does not have to be notarized I(though notarization speeds up and simplifies probating it). If 1) to 3) above are met, it should be valid.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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