|"I want to thank
legalmessenger for this outstanding service. I bought a last will
and testament because no one knows what the future hides and I
wanted to make sure that my family is secure. I bought a
peace of mind for a few bucks...totally worth it!"
Richard Avery, St. Louis, MO
Ten Steps to Completing
Your Last Will and Testament
- Select the appropriate Last Will and
Testament Form best suited to your circumstances from Legal Messenger archive.
- Destroy all copies of old and prior wills
you have previously executed.
- Enter your information and delete any
remaining blank lines.
- Provide at least nominal gifts to all
your children. If you leave nothing for them, a judge could
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.
LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT NOW
- Review and correct errors.
Review your answers carefully and ensure they clearly and accurately reflect
- Choose 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 should not
serve as witnesses. Your witnesses must be at least 18 years of age and should
not be a beneficiary to your Will.
- Choose 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
- Consider if a notary and Self-Proving
Affidavit are best for you. 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.
your will. Store your 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.
|This online last will and testament
template is printable and easy to download. It is available for all
states, for example: Florida, Colorado, Louisiana, California,
North Carolina, Ohio, Arizona, Texas, Georgia, New Jersey, Minnesota,
Oklahoma and Tennessee. Writing or making a last will can be exhausting
and lawyers cost a lot of money. The viewable sample software
last will and testament free template document kit you download is
in a simple written format and will protect your savings.