There are some simple steps that are taken by the draftsman of a will that help ease the probate process and prevent the court from denying probate. An appreciation of these will help you to properly understand what the courts look to.
Attorney As Draftsman
When a will was drafted by an attorney and the execution of the will was supervised by an attorney, there is a presumption that the will was properly prepared and executed. This can be a very important factor, especially where the will is challenged as having been the product of forgery.
For a will to be admitted to probate, it must be clear that the will is genuine. Part of proving genuineness is proving that no pages were switched. That is why attorneys usually draft wills that have carryover language from one page to another, rather than a page that ends with the end of a paragraph and the next page beginning a new paragraph.
The will should always have numbered pages. Even better, the will should ideally include not only the particular page number, but a reference to how many pages in the entire document. Thus, by way of illustration, a page would read, say, "Page 2 of 8." That will make it less likely that a page was removed.
Most attorneys will attach a cover to the will. The cover will say that the document is a Last Will and Testament; it will say the name of the testator (the person whose will it is), and the attorney draftsman's name, address, and telephone number.
Many attorneys will make sure that the testator, the witnesses, and the notary will all use the same pen. This is not a requirement for a valid will, but it helps to establish that the will was signed and witnessed at the same time.
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