Alexandria, VA Estate Planning Blog

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Validating Invalid Wills: Failed Will Execution Proceedings

If a Last Will & Testament was not executed properly, it still may be deemed valid by the court. To be valid, the proponent of the Will needs to file a petition within 1 year of the decedent’s death and make all interested persons parties.

Note: There is a strict 1 year time limit from date of death so moving quickly is critical.  

Although a Last Will & Testament was not executed in accordance with § 64.2-403, the Will shall be treated as if it had been executed in compliance with § 64.2-403 if the proponent of the document or writing establishes by clear and convincing evidence that the decedent intended the document or writing to constitute 

(i) the decedent's will, 

a partial or complete revocation of the will, 
an addition to or an alteration of the will, or 
(iv) a partial or complete revival of his formerly revoked will or of a formerly revoked portion of the will.

Generally, this remedy doesn’t excuse compliance with any requirement for the testator's signature, except in circumstances where two persons mistakenly sign each other's will, or a person signs the self-proving certificate to a will instead of signing the will itself.

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