||Choose the appropriate Last
Will and Testament Form that best suits your needs.
||Discard all copies of old and
prior last will and testament samples.
||Input your information in the
last will and testament template and delete any remaining blank lines.
||Provide at least nominal gifts
to all your children. If you don't leave them anything, a judge
may determine at a later date that you forgot to do so, should one of them
challenge your Will. Even a gift of $1 to the child you "omit" will
suffice. It is not recommended that you leave a nominal gift to your
spouse using this will. In general, states require that the surviving
spouse receive one-third to one-half of the deceased spouse's estate. If
you wish to leave less than half of your estate to your spouse, consult
with an attorney.
||After having purchased and
downloaded the printable online last will and testament kit and filled out
your information, review your answers carefully so that they clearly and
accurately reflect your intent.
||Select the appropriate
witnesses. All states require two witnesses, with the exception of
Vermont. However, it is strongly recommended that you have three witnesses
sign your Will in the event a witness dies or moves to another state. Your
spouse or children do not serve as witnesses. Your witnesses must be at
least 18 years of age and should not be a beneficiary to your Will.
||Select an appropriate executor
and alternate executor. Ideally, these individuals should reside in the
same state. Otherwise, it would be costly for your executor to travel
back-and-forth to manage your estate. Some states require that
out-of-state executors post a cash bond, even if you have waived this
requirement in your will.
||Notarizing your Will is
unnecessary, unless you choose to complete a Self-Proving Affidavit
simultaneous with the signing of your Will. It is strongly recommended
that you complete the Self-Proving Affidavit, unless you live in the
District of Columbia, Maryland, Ohio, or Vermont, where they are not
permitted. (In California, all wills are considered "self-proved" once
they are properly signed and executed by the testator and all witnesses.
In Louisiana, signing your Will in the presence of the witnesses before a
notary public is required.) A Self-Proving Affidavit will make it
unnecessary for your witnesses to appear in court to affirm your Willís
validity after your death. The Affidavit can potentially save your
beneficiaries and witnesses considerable inconvenience. It also gives your
Will an extra layer of authentication that can help your beneficiaries
avoid a long and costly probate process. (The Affidavit is found at the
footer of all Wills from our site).
||Sign a single copy of the will
together with all witnesses and distribute unsigned copies.
Witnesses must be in your immediate presence and must observe your actual
signing of the Will, and all the witnesses must observe the other
witnesses signing the Will. You do not need to read your Will to them, and
it is unnecessary for them to read it. However, they must clearly
understand that the document is your Last Will and Testament. You must
clearly explain to them that you intend the document to function as your
Will upon your death. If your state permits a Self-Proving Affidavit, and
if you elect to attach one to your Will (recommended), remember that the
same witnesses who observed your signing the Will should also observe your
signing the Self-Proving Affidavit. Have the notary present at the signing
of your Will, and then sign the Will and the Self-Proving Affidavit at the
same ceremony. Remember, only prepare and complete one original Will.
You should not have more than one original or even photocopies of your
signed Will. Doing so can complicate matters if you wish to create a new
will at a later time, as it may prove difficult to track down all copies
of your old Will. Instead, consider providing your beneficiaries,
executor, and alternate executor each with an unsigned copy of you Will.
||Store your will. Store
your Last Will in a safe place, and let your executor and alternate executor
know where they can find and access your original Will upon your death.
||All last will
and testament forms
are available for every state in the US including the
District of Columbia DC
||South Carolina SC
||South Dakota SD
||New Hampshire NH
||New Jersey NJ
||New Mexico NM
||New York NY
||North Carolina NC
||North Dakota ND
||West Virginia WV
||Rhode Island RI
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