It can seem like a good idea for people with uncomplicated estates to keep the will process as simple as possible. However, for people with more complex estates, particularly with different kinds of assets, having legal help is strongly recommended to avoid legal troubles for the heirs down the road. But if the estate is minimal, doing a will yourself is possible in Georgia. Here’s what you need to know.

Who Can Draft Their Own Will in Georgia?

Anyone age 14 and older can create their own will in Georgia. The exception is if the person drafting the will (known as the testator) is mentally incapacitated or under duress or pressure. They must be competent.

What Kinds of Will Documents Are Legal in Georgia?

Georgia has requirements that for wills to be valid, they must be written. They can’t be oral, recorded (either audio or video), or holographic. Wills may be handwritten or typed—but they must be one or the other.

Who Must Sign the Will in Georgia?

Georgia law requires that the testator sign their own will, or it must be signed by someone else while in the testator’s presence and at their direction. There must also be two witnesses who sign the will in the testator’s presence.

Does a Will Have to Be Notarized in Georgia?

Notarization isn’t required in Georgia, but it’s strongly recommended. Having a notary involved in the will helps make the will “self-proving,” which makes the probate process easier and quicker. To properly notarize a written will, the testator and the two witnesses must go to the notary with proper ID and sign the will together, along with an affidavit that proves who the testator and witnesses are and says that each person knew they were signing a will.

Let Me Advise You

If you or someone you know is interested in drafting a will, call me at 770-285-5493.