Thank you for your question. Although I am an attorney, I cannot represent you. However, I will give you the most thorough information. Although it is a good idea to have your will drawn up by someone familiar with the law, this is not a legal requirement. Someone can draw up their own will. Here is a link to the Virginia State Bar, who provides a publication that gives more information and pamphlets on wills.
Does this apply even if I am a G4 visa holder and has a will in my own country already?
Yes. If you plan to rely on the will that you have in your own country, it may help to ensure that you understand the requirements for wills to be admitted into probate in Virginia. Although a will may be valid in one country, it may not be valid in another or there may be steps you need to take to have the will recognized in Virginia as is.
Ok, I want to just have everything I own here go into my estate in my home country, and then the home country provisions apply, and the home country's executor of my estate. Is this possible?
This is definitely possible.
so then my will here should simply say "pay everything I own in the US into my South Afircan estate"...something simple like that?
I cannot advise you on what to write. However, it may be possible for you to attach a statement explaining your intention for your South African will to be upheld. Some states even allow you to register your will with the Secretary of State's office.
ok thanks. Sounds like I do need a lawyer.
Not necessarily if you are willing to put the effort and energy into researching these concepts yourself. It is really a matter of personal preference.
I don't have the money to pay a lawyer. I just don't understand what the contents of my will should be given that I basically want my estate here to go to my South African estate. I own property in both countries.
where could I researhc this?
I understand. I gave you one link. You may contact the State Bar to see if they have any more information through their Trusts and Estates Department. Nolo can be a great source of information. Your local legal aid can also be a great source of information. You may not even need to speak to anyone, many of these entities provide free literature.
thanks! great info.
Also, if you have specific questions about what you are reading, you are welcome to come back and ask us general questions. Although we cannot address the specifics of your will, we can provide general information.
I understand. This has set me on the right path thanks. Have to go now.
Please remember to his "ACCEPT" before you go. Have a great day!
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