Short answer - The will needs to properly identify the testator (person making the will). If your mother-in-law never officially changed her name to the married name(s) and still officially goes by her maiden name, then it probably properly identifies her. I would recommend a statement in the will indicating her aliases.
You can obtain a simple inexpensive will at www.onlinevalegalforms.com. With this service, you will answer a questionnaire. An attorney will review your questions, draft your will and you can then download it.
Look to my legal guide – Written Will Requirements in VA for more information.
Good Luck and if you need further information, feel free to contact me.
Sam Mansoor, Attorney
Mansoor Law Firm, PLLC
116R Edwards Ferry Rd NE
Leesburg, VA 20176
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It depends upon various factors. If she is still alive, it would probably be best for her to do a new Will and list all of her various names in the Will so that there is no dispute as to her mental capacity . If she is deceased, is her maiden name listed on her Death Certificate? Did she use her maiden name in her personal and/or business life? What name is on her Driver's License, Stock Certificates, Passport, and the like? Was any prenuptial or postnuptial Agreement ever signed by her? Was an attorney or third party involved in the drafting of the new Will, and did this person have knowledge of her marital and personal situation? Was she mentally competent when she signed the Will? Is anyone contesting the probate of the Will? Is anyone claiming a statuatory share of the Estate? Has the Will been probated? After obtaining answers to the above questions, you can mostlikely determine if the Will is valid, or if someon eill be contesting the Will that has been signed.
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