Is a verbal will legally binding?

On Behalf of | Dec 17, 2020 | Uncategorized

If you don’t want to deal with the process of estate planning in Georgia, it might sound tempting to opt for a verbal will. Instead of writing out your estate plan, you can simply tell your loved ones how you want your assets divided when you’re close to death. However, a verbal will is actually much more complicated than it sounds.

Is a verbal will a good idea?

In the world of wills and probate, not all wills are automatically legally binding. A verbal will may be legally binding but only under certain conditions. For a verbal will to hold up in court, you’ll have to make the will while you’re dying and die shortly afterward. If you survive the illness only to die later, your verbal will is not legally valid.

You’ll also need two witnesses to your verbal will, and one of those people must put the will in writing within 30 days. Additionally, the will can only cover $1,000 worth of assets. The amount increases to $10,000 if you die during active military service. But even then, verbal wills are incredibly rare and almost never hold up in court.

Ultimately, it’s better to craft a written will so that you won’t have to worry about your family members dealing with a long legal process. A written will also gives you more time to figure out how to divide your assets and who you should choose as your beneficiaries.

Should you hire an attorney to help you write a will?

Writing a will is much more complicated than most people realize. Fortunately, an attorney could help you through the entire process and give you the assurance that your estate plan will protect your family members. You might also be able to eliminate potential issues like probate and estate taxes.