Mississippi Law Regarding a Last Will & Testament

By Holly Cameron

The testator, or writer of a will, provides for the distribution of his property after his death in the form of a last will and testament. In Mississippi, any individual who is "of sound mind" and is over the age of 18 may make a legally binding will. Depending on the size of the testator’s estate, a will can be either a lengthy and complex document, or relatively simple. Chapter 5 of Title 91 of the Mississippi Code contains the law regarding last wills and testaments.

Creation of a Will

The testator must understand what he is doing and appreciate the effect the will is going to have on his beneficiaries. A temporary mental incapacity does not invalidate a will if it is clear that the testator was of sound mind when she signed it. The testator must sign the will herself, or direct another person to sign the will in her presence. Two or more witnesses should also sign to show that they have witnessed the testator’s signature.

Nuncupative Will

A nuncupative, or oral, will is valid in Mississippi if made during the testator’s last period of sickness, provided that he is at home and has been there for at least 10 days. It is usually only legally binding for gifts up to a value of $100, and the terms "sickness" and "at home" have been interpreted by courts as gray areas. Usually for an oral will to be binding, the type of sickness must be terminal and death must be imminent. There are several other factors that can affect the validity of the will, so these types of wills generally involve extensive litigation.

Protect your loved ones. Start My Estate Plan

Children Born After Making a Will

If a testator makes a will when he is childless and then subsequently has a child, the will may be void and unenforceable. If a testator has one or more children at the time of making the will and then has another child, then the final child is entitled to a share of the estate.

Changing or Revoking a Will

The testator may change or revoke a will at any time during her lifetime. If she wishes to make a minor change or amendment, she can add a codicil to the existing will as long as the codicil is signed and witnessed with the same legal formalities as the original will. According to Blacks Law Dictionary, a codicil is "a supplement or addition to a will, used to modify or qualify the will in some way." If a person makes a subsequent will, this has the effect of revoking any prior wills. To avoid any doubt, the testator should destroy all prior wills when she makes a new will.

Intestacy

A person is said to be intestate if he dies without leaving a will. In this situation, Mississippi laws regulate the distribution of the estate.

Protect your loved ones. Start My Estate Plan
Last Will & Testament in Kentucky
 

References

Related articles

Laws Pertaining to Contesting a Will in Arizona

Probate is the legal proceeding used to validate a will and give legal authority to the executor, the person overseeing the estate and transfers to heirs. A will being offered for probate in Arizona may be contested, or challenged, by a person with an interest in the estate, such as a child of the deceased person.

What Makes a Will Legal in California?

California state laws contain specific rules for what makes a will legal in the state. California's will laws are laid out in the California Probate Code. Like most states, California requires a will to be signed by the testator, or person who made the will, as well as by two witnesses.

State of Maine Laws Regarding Last Will & Testament

A last will and testament sets out the wishes of its writer regarding the arrangement of his property after his death. Title 18-A of the Maine Revised Statutes contains the legal provisions relating to wills signed in the state. Any person who is at least 18 years of age may write a legally binding will. The writer of a will – known as the testator – must be of sound mind at the time of writing.

LegalZoom. Legal help is here. Start Here. Wills. Trusts. Attorney help.

Related articles

California Laws Regarding Wills

California law requires that a testator, or the person making a will, be at least 18 years of age and of sound mind. ...

Mississippi Law for Writing a Will

Mississippi covers most eventualities in its laws regarding wills, often to a complex extent. Any person 18 years of ...

Illinois Last Will & Testament Requirements

Making a will is essential if you want to ensure that your property is distributed according to your wishes after you ...

How Long Does a Will Last?

A will containing the directions and provisions for loved ones after a person's death generally does not expire, but ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED