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Making a valid will in New Hampshire

Estate planning happens to be one of the tasks many people tend to put off. However, devoting some attention to this matter long before you think it will become necessary can ensure that, when the time does come, there will be a solid plan in place for your beneficiaries.

If you do not make a will, New Hampshire intestacy laws will apply. These provisions may vary significantly from the outcome you actually want. Making a proper will can allow you to distribute your estate specifically the way you want to.

Basic requirements

One must be at least 18 years of age and of sound mind to make a will in New Hampshire. This state only recognizes written wills signed in the presence of two witnesses. However, the state will recognize other types of wills when they comply with the requirements of the state where they were made.

Witnesses

At probate, witnesses may have to appear to testify that they saw the testator sign the will. To avoid this, one may make the will self-proving by including a notarized affidavit, signed by the testator and the witnesses, attesting to the fact that the witnesses saw the signing of the will. If a witness benefits under the will, there must be at least two other witnesses who do not.

Defining sound mind

Generally, the mental capacity required to make a will consists of knowing the basic types and values of the assets one owns, knowing who one's family members are and understanding the effects of leaving property to someone in a will. People who suffer from cognitive problems may still meet this standard, as can those whom a court has deemed to lack capacity for other purposes, such as making a contract.

Updating your will

As life goes on, your estate planning needs may change. It is a good idea to periodically review the provisions of your will, as well as other estate planning instruments. Various life events should also serve as a reason to update your provisions.

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