Last Will and Testament Form Templates - Will Forms
Last Will and Testaments are essential for everyone. US Legal Forms, Inc. printable and downloadable templates of legal will forms plus instructions for people with children, without children, divorcees, married couples and so much more. Mutual testaments and wills with trusts for minors are also available.
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This is a Sample Will document. You will receive the one for your State. Mutual Wills are most popular for Couples.
EACH WILL SUITS A PARTICULAR MARITAL STATUS: SINGLE, MARRIED WITH CHILDREN/WITHOUT CHILDREN.
Once you have executed your will, store it safely, but only after you have shared a copy with an executor as proof. In case of additional questions, contact our Customer Service.
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We will provide a brief and easy-to-understand instructions of writing a will and its more complicated articles. Anything that is self-explanatory has been omitted.
Paragraph 1. Insert your full name and home address. If you already have an executed will(s) prepared, confirm you revoke it in favor of a new document.
Article 3: If you intend to leave heirlooms like jewelry and antiques to a specific inheritor, provide the relevant information here. If you don’t have the above-mentioned intentions, simply insert NONE into the template.
Article 11. A very important part of the document where you need to entitle an executor. This person should be above 18.
Article 12. Your personal representative may be required to post a bond and file an inventory, which is a lengthy and expensive procedure. In this article, you can request for that to be avoided.
Article 13. In this article, you can empower your personal representative with extended authorities without the court’s approval depending on the state.
Article 14. In the article, you can clarify additional conditions. For example, in case you and your spouse both die at the same time, your will, will have precedence. This can be mentioned in both wills or just in one if both spouses are making them simultaneously.
What is a will? A will is a document that explains who will inherit property and real estate at your death. It also clarifies trustees and guardians of the property until the eventual distribution takes place.
Who can make a will? Any US citizen aged 18 and above can legally make a will.
What if I die without a will? If you die without a will the state will distribute the property in accordance with the Intestate succession laws. Keep in mind that the administration of a property connected to someone who died without a legal will and document is much more expensive than someone who died with a will.
The first thing to consider when preparing a will is whom to designate as your personal representative to execute your estate and as a guardian, if you have underaged children and your spouse also dies in the same disaster. Usually, people choose spouses as executors, however, an alternative person should also be provided. Select someone you trust and who is in good relations with the beneficiaries.
For example, if your spouse dies before you, the designated guardian will take custody of your children, while the trustee will take care of the assets of the trust for the benefit of the underaged beneficiaries.
The will template should be signed before the notary in presence of two witnesses. The witnesses also sign a document. A notary signs a will only if it contains a self-proving affidavit.
Joint Property: If you own joint property with your spouse, mind that it can pass outside your will. In order to get familiar with common issues related to joint property, study the examples:
(a) Real Estate: Spouses usually use the right of survivorship if it comes to joint real estate. This means that when one of them dies, the other gets the spouse’s property regardless of what's in the will. If such a resolution doesn’t attract you, change the form of ownership to designate other people to receive your share. This should be discussed in advance, so the will-maker understands legal provisions.
(b) Bank Accounts/Certificates of Deposit, Stock, Retirement Plans, IRA's and other type Property: If you have a deposit in joint tenant ownership with your spouse, the same as with the real estate, your spouse will automatically get money at your death. It’s not a problem unless you have children from a previous marriage and would like to leave them some of your savings. The problem may also occur if you have several children, but only one of them stays with you and for convenience, you have inserted one child’s name on all the banking documents. So only this child can access your assets at your death.
Law summary, Information and Preview options of the template will provide you with more information. Contact our Call Center in case of additional questions.
LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF
BE IT KNOWN THIS DAY THAT,
I, _____________________________, of __________________ County, Florida, being of legal age and of sound and disposing mind and memory, and not acting under duress, menace, fraud, or undue influence of any person, do make, declare and publish this to be my Will and hereby revoke any Will or Codicil I may have made.
Marriage and Children
I am married to _____________________________ and have the following children from said marriage:
Name: _____________________________ Date of Birth: __________________
Name: _____________________________ Date of Birth: __________________
Name: _____________________________ Date of Birth: _________________
Name: ____________________________ Date of Birth: _________________
Debts and Expenses
I direct my Personal Representative to pay all costs and expenses of my last illness and funeral expenses. I further direct my Personal Representative to pay all of my just debts that may be probated, registered and allowed against my estate. However, this provision shall not extend the statute of limitations for the payment of debts, or enlarge upon my legal obligation or any statutory duty of my Personal Representative to pay debts.
Specific Bequests of Real and/or Personal Property
I will, give and bequeath unto the persons named below, if he or she survives me, the Property described below:
Name Address Relationship Property
In the event I name a person in this Article and said person predeceases me, the bequest to such person shall lapse and the property shall pass under the other provisions of this Will. In the event that I do not possess or own any property listed above on the date of my death, the bequest of that property shall lapse.
Homestead or Primary Residence
I will, devise and bequeath all my interest in my homestead or primary residence, if I own a homestead or primary residence on the date of my death that passes through this Will, to my spouse, _____________________________, if he or she survives me. If he or she does not survive me, then my homestead or primary residence shall pass under the residuary clause of this Will.
All Remaining Property - Residuary Clause
I will, devise, bequeath and give all the rest and remainder of my property and estate of every kind and character, including, but not limited to, real and personal property in which I may have an interest at the date of my death and which is not otherwise effectively disposed of, to my spouse, _____________________________.
Contingent - All Remaining Property - Residuary Clause
In the event that my spouse shall predecease me, I will, devise, bequeath and give all the rest and remainder of my property and estate of every kind and character, including, but not limited to, real and personal property in which I may have an interest at the date of my death and which is not otherwise effectively disposed of ("Residuary Estate"), to my child(ren) _______________________________________________________. If I have more than one child and any one of my children shall predecease me, then the equal share set apart for that deceased child shall instead be distributed to his or her descendants, per stirpes. If one of my children shall predecease me leaving no descendants surviving, then the equal share set apart for that deceased child shall instead be distributed to my other child, or if that child has also predeceased me, then to his or her descendants, per stirpes.
Property To Vest In Trustee for Child Beneficiary
In the event that my spouse predeceases me as provided in Article Six, and any of my children are under the age of __________________ years of age, then I direct that my Personal Representative shall transfer, assign and deliver over to my Trustee, named below, such beneficiary's share of my estate and the objects of property described herein. I direct my Trustee to hold said Beneficiaries share of my estate on the following terms and conditions:
A. The Trustee shall hold and administer the assets of the Trust for the use and benefit of the Beneficiaries for the purpose of providing for their health, education and general welfare in accordance with their accustomed standard of living as much as is possible, considering the value of the Trust property and their other sources of income.
Remainder of Form Omitted
What is a Last Will and Testament? Will Paperwork
An essential step in the estate planning process is creating a will. A last will and testament (a last will or simply a will) is a legal document that specifies how you want to distribute your property after your death or who you choose to name as guardian for your minor children. Anyone who is 18 years or older can make a will. A will can be:
- Holographic or entirely handwritten;
- Standard typewritten — typed and printed;
- Partially handwritten and partially typed.
Each US state has its requirements for a valid will. For example, some states allow holographic versions (e.g., California, Louisiana), and some don’t recognize holographic wills in any form (Florida, Georgia, etc.).
Will forms typically include:
- 1. A statement that says the document is your will.
- 2. Your name as a testator of a will and a statement that you are writing in sound mind and of your own accord.
- 3. Identification of your assets. A will must contain at least one provision providing for the allocation of your estate.
- 4. Appointment of beneficiaries for your assets.
- 5. An appointment of an executor. An executor is legally responsible for managing your estate distribution according to your wishes outlined in the document.
- 6. The appointment of a guardian for children or pets ensures your children are cared for by someone you approve of if both parents die before they turn 18.
There is a wide variety of will templates for different marital and family statuses, so you can choose the one that suits your situation. For example, someone without children might not need provisions about guardians. US Legal Forms allows you to choose from multiple templates for single, married, and divorced individuals with or without children.
Why Make a Last Will and Testament Legal Will Form
There are a few reasons why it is good to have a last will. First, it ensures your property gets distributed according to your wishes after your death. It also simplifies the process for your heirs to acquire your assets. If you pass away without a will, a “who gets what” question may end up in court and take years to be resolved. On the other hand, by filling out a form and executing the document correctly, you can ensure your wishes are honored and keep your loved ones from going through probate court to settle your estate.
How to Make a Last Will and Testament Will
You can create a will yourself or hire a lawyer to do it for you. If you decide to draft one without a lawyer, you may need to spend a little time on research. The first thing you should do to have a properly executed will is to learn about the requirements for this document in your state. Does the state recognize holographic or online wills? Does it need to be notarized? When you find answers to these questions, you should download a state-specific last will and testament sample.
You can find the will you need on the US Legal Forms website. Choose a subscription plan that suits your needs, create an account and download a form specific to your state and your family status. Once you have a legal will form, you can fill it out, print, and execute it as required by state law.
Legal Requirements Last Will And Testament Form
- The will maker's sound mind-the will must be made with freedom from undue influence; an act should be done freely and knowingly.
- The testator's signature before the witnesses.
- Witnesses-generally, two witnesses are required to witness the will.
- One or more heirs (devisees, beneficiaries, legatees) must generally be clearly named.
Basic Terms Recommended to Be Bncluded: Online Last Will And Testament
- A revocation of any prior will paperwork and/or codicils should be included.
- An executor should be named to make sure the estate will be admitted to probate, manage the distribution of the estate, collect debts, pay creditors, file any federal estate tax and other tax forms due, etc.
- A residual clause should be included defining the distribution of acquired or unspecified property.
- A testamentary trust can be created, in which case a trustee is also named.
- A guardian may be named for minor children living at the time of the testator's death.
What is the Difference between Last Will, Living Will, and Medical Power of Attorney? Forms For Wills
There are three essential documents associated with estate planning that are frequently confused. They are a last will, a living will, and a power of attorney. While a last will and testament deals with property rights, a living will protects the rights of a person to choose their medical treatment in case of comatose or other conditions that may prevent them from expressing their decisions. That’s why it’s crucial to sign a living will to outline the treatment you want to receive in case of severe medical conditions. It is also essential to sign a will to ensure your property passes to the people you choose to receive it.
A medical power of attorney (MPOA), also referred to as a health care proxy, allows you to designate a person who will make medical decisions on your behalf if you can’t make them for yourself. Thus, if you prefer to have a trusted person (of your choosing) to make decisions about your treatment, you should sign a medical power of attorney. Signing an MPOA doesn’t mean you can’t have a living will – you can sign both documents, which is referred to as a combined advance directive for health care.
FAQ Last Will And Testament Template
Do you need an attorney to create a will? Executor Responsibilities
Requirements for preparing a form differ from state to state. However, you don’t need to hire a lawyer to make a last will in most cases. Simply find a will form online and use it as a template for creating your last will. US Legal Forms allows you to download reusable will forms in PDF and Word format. Select the state you live in to ensure the document is in accordance with the requirements of your state.
Does a last will and testament need to be notarized or witnessed? Will For Married Couple
A crucial step in making a last will is to check the state law requirements regarding this particular document. In most cases, at least two people 18 years of age or older must witness the signing process and must not be beneficiaries in the will. The witnesses must watch you sign the document and then sign a statement attached to the will to confirm that the will-maker signed the paperwork being of sound mind and not acting under undue influence.
Is a last will and testament state-specific? Online Will And Testament
Yes, a last will and testament is a state-specific document. To make a legally valid paper, you need to use a state-specific legal form and execute the document according to existing state laws. Select your state on the US Legal Forms website and search for a blank will form to get the last will and testament template relevant to your state.
Do I need to create a new will after moving? Online Will Form
Since the laws associated with estate planning differ from state to state, you may need to update your will when moving out of state. Check if your new state has different requirements than where it was executed. You may need to create a new example following the state’s legislation.
How to make changes in a will? Executor Of Estate Form
If you want to make changes in your document, one way is through a codicil — a supplementary form used to explain, revoke or modify a will. Creating a codicil must involve the same formalities as executing a will and must be signed in the presence of witnesses.
Another way to update your last will is to revoke an old version and create a new one. To cancel the previous version, you simply need to shred the document or execute a new one in which you specify that you revoke all wills you have previously made. Check out the requirements for your particular state to update your will correctly.
Can a will be handwritten or voice recorded? Last Will And Testament Forms
Some states recognize holographic (handwritten) wills, while others don’t. For example, holographic examples are not recognized in the state of New York unless it is a will of a member of the Armed Forces. Voice recorded wills are not recognized as valid but can be used to back up your printed or handwritten document in court proceedings.
How do you prove a new will was written? Joint Will Template
If you decide to revoke your old will and create a new one and want to avoid confusion from having more than one will, you should do the following:
- 1. Destroy existing copies of your original will and codicils.
- 2. Include a dated statement in your new paper that you revoke all wills and codicils previously made.
- 3. Share copies of the updated documents with relevant parties, such as the executor or an attorney.
Can the same person be named executor, trustee, and beneficiary? Executor Fees By State
Both executors and trustees are selected to manage the property after a person’s death. While a trustee is named in a living trust, an executor is appointed in a last will and testament. A trustee can be a beneficiary of a trust. However, the trustees who are also beneficiaries usually have co-trustees to ensure fair administering of the estate. An executor is also allowed to be a beneficiary in a will.
When is a will considered invalid? Standard Will Form
It can be invalid if it is not in accordance with the existing law. For example, it can be hard to enforce a holographic executed in a state where holographic versions are not legally binding. Another obstacle would be missing witnesses or having the will witnessed by people who cannot be qualified as witnesses – such as your beneficiaries or people under 18 years old. A last will and testament must be executed following your state’s provisions.
How to get an example of a will on US Legal Forms? Uslegal
Find printable simple last will and testament forms on the US Legal Forms website by selecting your state or entering “will” in the search box. You will be directed to the page with relevant results to find the documents matching your query. You may read a detailed description of each document sample on the US Legal Forms website to make sure you choose the right one. Click Buy now to proceed and download the form.
Please note that last will and testament forms are specific to your marital and family status. Be sure to select the form that suits your needs. You can also download a template package that includes a will, a living will, a power of attorney, and other estate planning documents.
Tips for Preparing Last Will and Testament Form Templates
- The content of your will isn’t a final version. Regardless of what changes you experience throughout your life, be it marriage, divorce, loss of a family member, or medical concerns, you can always introduce changes to the last will and testament you drafted and approved. How you need to do that is based on the laws of each state.
- Some states enforce an inheritance tax. This is something you need to look at before preparing Last Will and Testament Form Templates in order to prevent any legal fees and penalties from the Internal Revenue Service in the future. Exactly how much recipients are obliged to pay out in estate or inheritance tax is defined by the state you live in.
- Your expectations presented in the paperwork might be contested. When preparing Last Will and Testament Form Templates, look at the following case: if the beneficiaries that you mention in your legal will feel that you disinherited them or believe that you've been tricked into signing it, they might contest it with the court. Other widely popular reasons behind contesting a will are an improperly executed document or the incapacitation of the testator.
- Go over intestacy laws before drafting a will. Intestacy signifies passing away without leaving a will. This is when the court starts to deal with inheritance matters after your passing away. In case the distribution of assets specified by your state laws works for you, then you can certainly postpone or not create it at all. Nevertheless, to protect yourself from any risks of a family feud or major arguments, it's very advised to make a will. You can do it and get the required Last Will and Testament Form Templates online utilizing US Legal Forms, one of the most expanded libraries of professionally drafted and regularly refreshed state-specific legal paperwork.