Anyone over the age of eighteen can draft a will—with or without the aid of an attorney. Other restrictions or requirements may also exist, but all wills must have or contain the following:
The testator (or person making the will) must clearly identify himself or herself, and he or she must must state that a will is being made (commonly called a "publication"). Usually, the testator meets this requirement by stating that the will is a "last will and testament."
The testator must revoke or rescind all previously made wills or codicils (i.e., an attachment or addition). If the testator does not revoke or rescind prior wills or codicils, then a subsequent will will revoke a prior will or codicil only to the extent that these wills or codicils contain inconsistent provisions. That said, if a testator makes a will that is completely different than previous wills, the earlier ones will be considered revoked by implication.
The testator must demonstrate that he or she has the capacity to dispose of his or her property and does so willingly and with free will.
The testator must date the will and sign it in the presence of disinterested witnesses (i.e., people who are not beneficiaries under the will). Each state will set forth the specific number of witnesses required. In some instances, the testator must also have the will notarized.
The testator should sign his or her name at the end of the will. Otherwise, a court may ignore or invalidate all text following the signature.