As a resident of Washington state who has decided to create a will, it is important to understand what is and isn’t allowed. The creation of wills can be difficult and you must get it done exactly right, or you risk the will being rendered invalid.

FindLaw takes a look at what makes a will valid in Washington state. First, there are some generic requirements that apply across the board for any testators. For example, you must be at least 18 years old at the time you wrote the will for it to be considered valid. You must also be of sound mind, i.e. be to make decisions clearly and rationally in a way that is in character for you.

Next, you must have at least two witnesses present. They cannot be receiving anything in the will. They need to watch you sign it, and must sign it as well. No one can sign the will alone; every person whose signature is required must sign in the presence of the others.

In Washington state, holographic (or handwritten) wills are not considered valid. While nuncupative (oral) wills are, there are many restrictions placed on them. For example, personal property is limited to $1,000 and there are certain prohibitions set up for the designation of real estate.

If you are looking into drafting your will, consider contacting an attorney with expertise in this area. Since it can be easy to make a mistake that renders your entire will invalid, it is important to get things done properly. An attorney can help with that.