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Canton Estate Planning & Probate Lawyer > Blog > Wills > What is Required for a Valid Will in Connecticut?

What is Required for a Valid Will in Connecticut?


Adults of all ages should consider estate planning, but it is particularly important to think seriously about a will once you get into your 40s and have a family you want to protect. While it can be difficult to think about an unexpected death and what will happen when you are gone, a will can help to ensure that your children and any other relatives are able to inherit your property according to your wishes, and that your children will have a guardian of your choosing if they are minors. In order for your wishes to be respected by a probate court in Connecticut, it will be critical to work with an attorney to make sure that your will is valid and enforceable. What do you need to know about a valid and enforceable will? Consider the following information from our Canton estate planning lawyers.

Why Do I Need a Valid and Enforceable Will? 

You should have a valid and enforceable will for many reasons. A valid will allows you to:

  • Decide what property you want to leave to specific parties;
  • Identify your executor, which is the person who will handle your estate (including distributing assets, paying bills, and ultimately closing the estate); and
  • Name a guardian for your minor children if you pass away.

What Makes a Connecticut Will Valid?

In order for a will to be considered valid in Connecticut, all of the following must be true:

  • Party making the will (the “testator”) must be made by an adult who is at least 18 years old and of sound mind;
  • Will must be in writing;
  • Will must be signed by the testator in front of two witnesses; and
  • Witnesses must sign the will in front of the testator.

Connecticut law does not require that a will be notarized in order for it to be valid. However, it is important for you to know that you can make it even easier on your loved ones if you do have the will notarized, which will make it “self-proving.” When you have a self-proving well, the probate court does not need to be in touch with your witnesses in order to determine the validity of the will. In order to have the will notarized so that it is self-proving, you will need to sign an affidavit before a notary along with your witnesses.

Can I Add to an Existing Will Without Altering Its Enforceability? 

Generally speaking, Connecticut law does allow you to add to or change your existing will by creating what is known as a “codicil,” but you will need to make sure that the codicil is valid and enforceable by going through the steps that you took for your original will. In most cases, it is easier to destroy your original will and make a new one entirely with help from a lawyer.

Contact a Canton, Connecticut Wills Lawyer 

Do you have questions about estate planning in Connecticut, or are you ready to make a will? An experienced Canton wills attorney at the Law Office of Brian S. Karpe can talk with you today to answer any questions you have and to begin working with you on your will and other important estate planning materials.

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