Based in Sydney, Australia, Foundry is a blog by Rebecca Thao. Her posts explore modern architecture through photos and quotes by influential architects, engineers, and artists.

How Legally Binding Is a Will You Write on a Piece of Paper Without a Lawyer Present?

The answer is that it could potentially be binding but we would need a much deeper dive into the surrounding facts than is provided here. In other words, the factors that you provided are not enough to determine the validity of the will. I would suggest letting an attorney look over the will to determine its validity and correct any problems that could arise.

To guide you a little bit on the enforceability, it helps to think about the purpose of a will, which is to express the wishes of someone who can no longer express those wishes themselves. So, a very important factor in the review of a will is the potential for fraud. Following this logic, if a will clearly expresses the intent of the estate and it is also clear that there was no fraud in the formation of the will, it is likely that the will is enforceable. On the other hand, if the language is ambiguous or if there is no clear expression of intent, it is less likely that the will is enforceable.

But even if you have a will that is not legally binding in its current form, you can simply revise it to provide more clarity and thus enforceability. This is where you want the help of an attorney. Typically, an attorney that has experience drawing up these documents will be able to take care of it quickly for a small, flat-fee.

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