Legal Last Will and Testament Form for a Single Person with Minor Children
Note: This summary is not intended to be an
all-inclusive discussion of the law of wills in Tennessee, but does contain
basic and other provisions. A discussion of handwritten wills is
Persons qualified to make a will: Any person
of sound mind eighteen (18) years of age or older may make a will. 32-1-102.
Witnesses - Who may act: Any person competent
to be a witness generally in this state may act as attesting witness to
a will. No will is invalidated because attested by an interested witness,
but any interested witness shall, unless the will is also attested by two
(2) disinterested witnesses, forfeit so much of the provisions therein
made for him as in the aggregate exceeds in value, as of the date of the
testator's death, what he would have received had the testator died intestate.
Execution of Will: The execution of a will must be
by the signature of the testator and of at least two (2) witnesses as follows:
(1) The testator shall signify to the attesting witnesses that
the instrument is his will and sign the will in the presence of two (2)
or more attesting witnesses.
(2) The attesting witnesses must sign:
(A) In the presence of the testator; and
(B) In the presence of each other. 32-1-104.
Foreign execution: A will may be executed
outside Tennessee in a manner prescribed by Tennessee law, or a written
will executed outside this state in a manner prescribed by the law of the
place of its execution or by the law of the testator's domicile at the
time of its execution. 32-1-107.
Actions effecting a revocation of will:
A will or any part thereof is revoked by:
(1) A subsequent will which revokes the prior will or part expressly
or by inconsistency;
(2) Document of revocation, executed with all the formalities of
an attested will which revokes the prior will or part expressly;
(3) Being burned, torn, cancelled, obliterated or destroyed, with
the intent and for the purpose of revoking it by the testator or by another
person in the testator's presence and by the testator's direction; or
(4) Both the subsequent marriage and the birth of a child of the
testator. Divorce or annulment of the subsequent marriage does not revive
a prior will. 32-1-201.
Revocation by divorce or annulment:
(a) If after executing a will the testator is divorced or the testator's
marriage annulled, the divorce or annulment revokes any disposition or
appointment of property made by the will to the former spouse, any provision
conferring a general or special power of appointment on the former spouse,
and any nomination of the former spouse as executor, trustee, conservator
or guardian, unless the will expressly provides otherwise. If provisions
are revoked solely by this section, they are revived by the testator's
remarriage to the former spouse. 32-1-202.
Deposit of will with probate court:
With respect to a testator who is living, any will in writing, being enclosed
in a sealed wrapper, and having endorsed thereon the name of the testator,
the testator's place of residence and the testator's social security number
or driver license number, if any, and the day when, and the person by whom,
it is delivered, may be deposited by the person making the will, or by
any person for the person making the will, with the court exercising probate
jurisdiction in the county where the testator lives. With respect to a
deceased testator, any will in writing may be deposited by any person with
the court exercising probate jurisdiction in the county where the testator
lived at the time of the testator's death. The preceding provisions shall
apply only if the clerk of such probate court has a secure vault or safe
for the safe keeping of such will. Such probate court shall receive and
safely and securely keep any such will, and give a certificate of the deposit
thereof, and for this service shall charge a fee of five dollars ($5.00).
(b) Such will shall, during the lifetime of the testator, be delivered
only to the testator, or to some person authorized by the testator by an
order in writing, duly proved by the oath of a subscribing witness. Any
such will which is deposited after the death of the testator shall be delivered
only to a person named in the will as executor, to a next of kin of the
testator, or to any other person so authorized by law or court order.
(c) After the death of the testator and upon submission of a death
certificate or other satisfactory evidence of death as determined by the
judge exercising probate jurisdiction, the will shall be opened by the
court in open session and shall be made public.
(d) After the death of the testator, should jurisdiction of the
will for probate belong to any other court, upon request of the executor
named therein or any other person interested in its provisions, such will
shall be forwarded by certified or registered mail to such other court
or delivered to the executor, or to some other trusty person interested
in the provisions of the will, to be presented for probate in such other
(e)(1) The deposit of a written will as provided by this section
shall not constitute a probate of the will nor, if deposited prior to a
testator's death, preclude the testator from revoking it, amending it,
withdrawing it, or depositing a substitute will, it being the intent and
purpose of this section to provide only a place of depository for written
wills, a procedure for depositing such wills, and a delivery of such wills
for probate upon the death of the testator.
(2) If, after the death of the testator, a later will is discovered
which supersedes a will deposited as provided in this section and such
will is duly admitted to probate, or if a will deposited as provided in
this section is for any other reason invalidated, following the administration
of the estate of the testator by or on whose behalf such will is deposited,
and the settlement of such estate, upon order by the judge of the probate
court wherein the will was deposited, such will shall be destroyed. 32-1-112.