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What makes a will legal?

It is not good enough to write or type out a will and expect it to stand in court after your death. You must make sure that you follow the legal requirements to ensure you have a valid will.

According to the New Castle County, DE, website, there are a few requirements to a legally valid will in Delaware that may differ from other states, so it is essential that you know this state’s rules.

Age and mind

To have any legal standing, you must be at least 18 years old when you create the will. In addition, you must be competent to enter into a legal agreement. This means that you have no mental deterioration and that you have the capability to understand the document and what it means.

Writing rules

You can handwrite your will to create a holographic will, but the whole document must be handwritten by you. You cannot type parts and handwrite parts. You can also type the whole thing.


You must sign your will in your own signature. If you are unable to sign, you may appoint someone to sign the document for you in your presence.

You also need to have the signatures of at least two witnesses on the document. Unlike other states, in Delaware, you can have people who will benefit from the will or heirs act as witnesses.

The state also does not require notarization, but you should highly consider it. Upon your death, the court must ensure it is a legal document. To do this, your witnesses must testify that you created and signed it. This can open doors to issues and lead to a lengthy probate process. If you get the document notarized, then it is self-proven and there is no need for the court to validate it.