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Requirements for a proper Will in Alabama

Posted by Joseph Britt | Feb 18, 2024

Who may make a Will in Alabama?

§43-8-130 of the Alabama Code says that "Any person 18 or more years of age who is of sound mind may make a will."

§43-8-131 tells us that the Will must be in writing, signed by the Testator, or in the Testator's name by some other person in the Testator's presence and direction, and shall be witnessed by 2 persons.

The Testator must sign the Will first. Reynolds v. Massey, 219 Ala. 265, 122 So. 29 (1929). 

Who may witness the Will?

Case law in Alabama suggests that the witnesses must be competent.  Counter to most people's belief, a Will is not void Ab Initio if one of the witnesses is an "interested party", meaning someone who stands to inherit through the Will.  However, it is not a good idea to use an interested party as a witness if it can be avoided so as to not give rise to possible Will contests later.

  1. A Will must be written by someone who is at least 18 years of age.

  2. The Willmaker must be "of sound mind".

  3. The Will must be in writing.

  4. The Will must be signed by the Willamker, or by someone in his presence and at his direction.

  5. The Will must be witnessed by 2 persons - preferably disinterested individuals, although not legally required.

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