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The will of “Tiger King” star Carole Baskin’s missing husband was forged? What makes a valid will?

Do you need a valid will and Estate Plan?

The “Tiger King” star Carole Baskin’s missing husband’s will was forged, according to Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister. Baskin’s husband Don Lewis vanished in 1997 and was declared legally dead in 2002.

The Netflix series “Tiger King” emphasized the mysterious nature of Lewis’ disappearance and showed speculation by Baskin’s rival Joe Exotic that she was involved. She has denied any involvement in the disappearance.

Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister told the local news station WTSP that Lewis’ will was forged and Lewis’ signature was ‘tracedon the will and not properly witnessed. The will left his estate, estimated to be worth about $10 million, to Baskin and cut out his family, according to Fox News. “They had two experts deem it 100% a forgery. But, we knew that … we knew that before,” Chronister told WTSP.

According to Althauser Rayan Abbarno attorneys, recent surveys indicate only 42 percent of U.S. adults currently have estate planning documents such as a will or living trust. For those with children under the age of 18, a mere 36 percent having an end-of-life plan in place. And, having a will may not be enough. Many individuals have a will, but it may not be valid.

If you don’t have a will or have not updated your will, call the Althauser Rayan Abbarno estate planning attorneys in Olympia and Centralia at (360) 736-1301.

Washington State Requirements For A Valid Will

There are a few basic requirements for a Washington last will and testament. First, the testator must be at least 18 years old and capable of reasoning and making decisions. Also, he or she must sign the will or have someone else sign it at his or her request and in his or her presence.

How Many Witnesses Do I Need?

Creating a valid will isn’t a solo activity. At least two people (who are not receiving anything under the Will) who witness the signing or the acknowledgment of the signing of the Will must sign their names in the testator’s presence and at his/her request. This is meant to prevent fraud or other illegal activities.

Beneficiaries

The testator can use the Will to distribute property to anyone he or she chooses.
Handwritten and Oral Wills. The testator may have some restrictions and additional steps for the distribution of certain policies, like insurance.

Althauser Rayan Abbarno Estate Planning Attorneys

For more than 70 years, Althauser Rayan Abbarno, LLP has provided estate planning and probate services for people throughout western Washington, southwest Washington and the south Puget Sound region.

If you need experienced legal representation to assist with your estate planning goals or assist with the probate of an estate, contact us today to schedule a consultation by calling (360) 736-1301 or visiting CentraliaLaw.com