Your will is one of the primary documents you'll be creating while planning your estate. Your will is your expressed intent of what should happen to your property after you pass away. Although people often think that as long as a will is written out that it's valid, this simply isn't true. Different states have different requirements regarding what makes a will legally valid. In general, most states require that a will have witnesses, a notary or affidavit, and that the person creating the will be of legally sound mind.

Since fulfilling your state's requirements for a valid will may be difficult if you're unfamiliar with the laws, getting to know how wills work can be helpful. Learn the basics of wills here, including an overview of wills, preparing a will, and updating a will. Additionally, learn how you can create a living will in the event that you become ill or incapacitated and are incapable of making your own medical decisions.