Understanding Wills, Drafting a Will

A Will is the legal declaration by a person, often referred to as the Testator or Devisee, as to what he or she wants to happen to their possessions and/or property, real and personal, upon their death. It also states who they want to distribute their possessions.

The person chosen to distribute these possessions and/or property used to be referred to as the Executor, or Executrix. After the revision of the laws in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in March of 2012, this person is now referred to as the Personal Representative.

Every state has different requirements that must be met to have a Will be valid. An individual will want to make sure these requirements are followed, otherwise the Will can be held to be invalid and the possession and/or property of the Testator will not get distributed or given to the people or organizations they wished it to be given to.

In order to draft a will in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, a Will must be written by a person at least 18 years old, of sound mind (one who has the capacity to make such a document), signed by the Testator in then presence of two disinterested witnesses. If your Will is found to be valid, you will be said to have died testate (with a valid Will).

If a Will if drafted without meeting the above requirements it may be found to be invalid and it will be said you have dies intestate (with no valid Will). If this is the case, your property will be distributed, not as you had requested, but instead, according to the laws of intestacy in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Unlike what most people think, in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, if a person dies intestate, the property does not go to the Commonwealth. Property will be distributed to descendants of the person who has passed if they can be located.

A Will does not have to be complicated but often becomes so depending on where and what is to be distributed.

Everyone should have a valid Will to assure their property is left to the person they wish it to be left to.


Attorney James J. Hoffey is well experienced in wills and can assure you will get the best outcome possible outcome in your situation. Contact Hoffey Law Office in Brookfield, Massachusetts at (508) 867-2649 or jhoffey@hoffey.com for a

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