» Last Will and Testament Templates

Last Will and Testament Templates

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A last will and testament is a document used to layout how their real and personal property (including bank balances and/or cash) shall be distributed after their death. The form should be filled in by the testator, person creating the will, and be signed with notary public and distributed to all beneficiaries and/or their attorney. No State requires the document to be registered but it may be filed with certain Counties Clerks, Probate Courts, and Secretary of State offices.

By State

State Laws

How to Make a Will

Before writing the document, make an itemized list of all valuable assets containing personal and real property. Select which assets, unless all, should go to whom and inform them of your decision so that they may be able to financially prepare themselves for the transfer in the unfortunate event the testator dies. Select at least two (2) witnesses to view the signing of the document and make arrangements to do this in front of a notary public. The will is meant to be kept in a safe place with original copies provided to family and legal counsel. At the option of the testator they may register the will with the probate court in their county (if applicable).

Step 1 – In the header area, write to whom the will is for and in the first paragraph below enter their details including their full name and address.

Step 2 – In Section II, fill-in who will represent as the personal representative (also known as the ‘executor’) of the will. This will be the individual that will oversee the probate process and ensure that the decedent’s estate is provided to the rightful heirs. Their information should be entered with their full name and address along with any secondary personal representatives in the chance that the first (1st) is not able to act.

Step 3 – In Section III,  enter the beneficiaries, otherwise known as the people that will receive the testator’s personal and real property after their death. The document allows for the testator to state specific items to individuals or if there is to be only one (1) beneficiary the testator may enter ‘All real and personal property’.

With this document the testator may fill-in up to three people (describing them should include their full address, relation, and last four (4) digits of their social security number (SSN)) and if there are more individuals they should be attached or added to Section III.

Step 4 – In Section XI, enter the State that will govern the will and the Testator should sign along with at least two (2) witnesses (most States require two (2) witnesses). For legal purposes, and so that the document is not contested by any third (3rd) party, the witnesses along with the testator should authorize the form with a notary public present.

Step 5 – After the form has been completed and signed it should be distributed to all beneficiaries. There is no State that requires the form to be registered, but for extra security, in some counties the Probate court will accept the filing and registration of it. Otherwise the testator should make as many copies as possible and give them to family, those mentioned in the document, and their family attorney.

If There is No Will (After Death)

If there is no will that was recorded by the individual that has died (known as ‘intestacy’), and the estate is under the State threshold for probate proceedings, the property may be distributed through a Small Estate Affidavit.