1. The testator (maker of will) must be at least 18 years old;
2. Have the mental capacity (sound mind) at the time of testator's signing;
3. Will must be in writing; and
4. Signed by two attesting witnesses, while in the presence of each other as well as the testator.
A will has many advantages. It allows you to dictate who gets your property at the time of your death, instead of the courts deciding for you. In your will you may name a personal representative (executor) who will be responsible for managing your estate. This person may be a family member or a friend, or even a bank or trust company. Moreover, some of your property such as real estate may be sold without the use of court proceedings, and gifts may be made to charities. You can even name a guardian for your minor children in your will. There are many other useful things your will can do for you.
However, the issues arise when you die without having a will. For example, when you die without a will, the court may appoint a pesonal representative, familiar to you or not, to be responsible for managing your estate. The cost of probating your estate may be very costly. Furthermore, you will not be able to reduce the amount of taxes you owe, disinheriting a family member you wanted to disinherit will be a problem, and leaving a personal belonging to a specific person will not happen. There is so much more to know about the importance of having a will.