Free Last Will and Testament

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I have a Last Will?A Last Will enables you to:
  • Choose who will get your property after your death;
  • Choose how your property will be divided among your various beneficiaries;
  • Give specific items of property to specific people;
  • Appoint someone you trust to administer your estate; and
  • Appoint a guardian for your minor children.
If you die without a Will, your property will be distributed by a court-appointed administrator according to statutory plans for "intestate succession." Your property will be divided among your surviving spouse, children, and possibly other relatives in whatever manner the law of your jurisdiction specifies. You will not have a chance to give property to non-relatives or to exclude relatives. Additionally, if you have no relatives, your property will go to the state rather than to a friend or charity of your choice.
When should I update my old Will?You should review your Will from time to time to ensure that it still meets your needs and that your property will be distributed according to your wishes. You should consider writing a new Will on the following events:
  • You get married or divorced (a change in marital status may void your old Will);
  • You are unmarried, but have a new partner;
  • The amount of money and property you own significantly changes;
  • You move to another state (not all states recognize out-of-state Wills as valid);
  • Your executor or a significant beneficiary in your Will dies;
  • There is a birth or adoption of a child in your family;
  • You change your mind about the provisions in your Will.
Your Last Will and TestamentUpdate Preview

LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF ____________________

I, ____________________, presently of ____________________, Virginia, declare that this is my Last Will and Testament.


  1. PRELIMINARY DECLARATIONS
  2. Prior Wills and Codicils
  3. I revoke all prior Wills and Codicils.
  4. Marital Status
  5. I am not married.
  6. Current Children
  7. I do not have any living children.
  8. The term 'child' or 'children' as used in this my Will includes the above listed children and any children of mine that are subsequently born or legally adopted.

  9. EXECUTOR
  10. Definition
  11. The expression 'my Executor' used throughout this Will includes either the singular or plural number, or the masculine or feminine gender as appropriate wherever the fact or context so requires. The term 'executor' in this Will is synonymous with and includes the terms 'personal representative' and 'executrix'.
  12. Appointment
  13. I appoint __________ of __________, Virginia as the sole Executor of this my Will.
  14. No bond or other security of any kind will be required of any Executor appointed in this my Will.
  15. Powers of My Executor
  16. I give and appoint to my Executor the following duties and powers with respect to my estate:
    1. To pay my legally enforceable debts, funeral expenses and all expenses in connection with the administration of my estate and the trusts created by my Will as soon as convenient after my death. If any of the real property devised in my Will remains subject to a mortgage at the time of my death, then I direct that the devisee taking that mortgaged property will take the property subject to that mortgage and that the devisee will not be entitled to have the mortgage paid out or resolved from the remaining assets of the residue of my estate;
    2. To take all legal actions to have the probate of my Will completed as quickly and simply as possible, and as free as possible from any court supervision, under the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia;
    3. To retain, exchange, insure, repair, improve, sell or dispose of any and all personal property belonging to my estate as my Executor deems advisable without liability for loss or depreciation;
    4. To invest, manage, lease, rent, exchange, mortgage, sell, dispose of or give options without being limited as to term and to insure, repair, improve, or add to or otherwise deal with any and all real property belonging to my estate as my Executor deems advisable without liability for loss or depreciation;
    5. To purchase, maintain, convert and liquidate investments or securities, and to vote stock, or exercise any option concerning any investments or securities without liability for loss;
    6. To open or close bank accounts;
    7. To maintain, continue, dissolve, change or sell any business which is part of my estate, or to purchase any business if deemed necessary or beneficial to my estate by my Executor;
    8. To maintain, settle, abandon, sue or defend, or otherwise deal with any lawsuits against my estate;
    9. To employ any lawyer, accountant or other professional; and
    10. Except as otherwise provided in this my Will, to act as my Trustee by holding in trust the share of any minor beneficiary, and to keep such share invested, pay the income or capital or as much of either or both as my Executor considers advisable for the maintenance, education, advancement or benefit of such minor beneficiary and to pay or transfer the capital of such share or the amount remaining of that share to such beneficiary when he or she reaches the age of majority or, during the minority of such beneficiary, to pay or transfer such share to any parent or guardian of such beneficiary subject to like conditions and the receipt of any such parent or guardian discharges my Executor.
  17. The above authority and powers granted to my Executor are in addition to any powers and elective rights conferred by state or federal law or by other provision of this Will and may be exercised as often as required, and without application to or approval by any court.

  18. DISPOSITION OF ESTATE
  19. Distribution of Residue
  20. To receive any gift or property under this Will a beneficiary must survive me for thirty (30) days. Beneficiaries of my estate residue will receive and share all of my property and assets not specifically bequeathed or otherwise required for the payment of any debts owed, including but not limited to, expenses associated with the probate of my Will, the payment of taxes, funeral expenses or any other expense resulting from the administration of my Will. The entire estate residue is to be divided between my designated beneficiaries with the beneficiaries receiving a share of the entire estate residue. All property given under this Will is subject to any encumbrances or liens attached to the property.
  21. I direct my Executor to distribute the residue of my estate as follows ("Share Allocations"):
    1. All of the residue of my estate to __________ of __________, Virginia, for their own use absolutely.
  22. If none of my named beneficiaries survives me or does not leave an heir or issue who survives me, then I give, devise, and bequeath all of the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate, of whatever kind and character, and wherever located, according to the order of intestate succession in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

  23. TESTAMENTARY TRUST
  24. Testamentary Trust For Minor Beneficiaries
  25. It is my intent to create a testamentary trust (the "Testamentary Trust") for each minor beneficiary named in this my Will. I name my Executor(s) as trustee (the "Trustee") of any and all Testamentary Trusts required in this my Will. Any assets bequeathed, transferred, or gifted to a minor beneficiary named in this my Will are to be held in a separate trust by the Trustee until that minor beneficiary reaches the designated age. Any property left by me to any minor beneficiary in this my Will shall be given to my Executor(s) to be managed until that minor beneficiary reaches the age of majority.
  26. Trust Administration
  27. The Trustee shall manage the Testamentary Trust as follows:
    1. The assets and property will be managed for the benefit of the minor until the minor reaches the age set by me for final distribution;
    2. Upon the minor reaching the age set by me for final distribution, all property and assets remaining in the trust will be transferred to the minor beneficiary as quickly as possible; and
    3. Until the minor beneficiary reaches the age set by me for final distribution, my Trustee will keep the assets of the trust invested and pay the whole or such part of the net income derived therefrom and any amount or amounts out of the capital that my Trustee may deem advisable to or for the support, health, maintenance, education, or benefit of that minor beneficiary.
  28. The Trustee may, in the Trustee's discretion, invest and reinvest trust funds in any kind of real or personal property and any kind of investment, provided that the Trustee acts with the care, skill, prudence and diligence, considering all financial and economic considerations, that a prudent person acting in a similar capacity and familiar with such matters would use.
  29. No bond or other security of any kind will be required of any Trustee appointed in this my Will.
  30. Trust Termination
  31. The Testamentary Trust will end after any of the following:
    1. The minor beneficiary reaching the age set by me for final distribution;
    2. The minor beneficiary dies; or
    3. The assets of the trust are exhausted through distributions.
  32. General Trust Provisions
  33. The expression 'my Trustee' used throughout this Will includes either the singular or plural number, or the masculine or feminine gender as appropriate wherever the fact or context so requires.

    (1) Powers of Trustee

    To carry out the terms of my Will, I give my Trustee the following powers to be used in his or her discretion at any time in the management of a trust created hereunder, namely:

    1. The power to make such expenditures as are necessary to carry out the purpose of the trust;
    2. Subject to my express direction to the contrary, the power to sell, call in and convert into money any trust property, including real property, that my Trustee in his or her discretion deems advisable;
    3. Subject to my express direction to the contrary, the power to mortgage trust property where my Trustee considers it advisable to do so;
    4. Subject to my express direction to the contrary, the power to borrow money where my Trustee considers it advisable to do so;
    5. Subject to my express direction to the contrary, the power to lend money to the trust beneficiary if my Trustee considers it is in the best interest of the beneficiary to do so;
    6. To make expenditures for the purpose of repairing, improving and rebuilding any property;
    7. To exercise all rights and options of an owner of any securities held in trust;
    8. To lease trust property, including real estate, without being limited as to term;
    9. To make investments he or she considers advisable, without being limited to those investments authorized by law for trustees;
    10. To receive additional property from any source and in any form of ownership;
    11. Instead of acting personally, to employ and pay any other person or persons, including a body corporate, to transact any business or to do any act of any nature in relation to a trust created under my Will including the receipt and payment of money, without being liable for any loss incurred. And I authorize my Trustee to appoint from time to time upon such terms as he or she may think fit any person or persons, including a body corporate, for the purpose of exercising any powers herein expressly or impliedly given to my Trustee with respect to any property belonging to the trust;
    12. Without the consent of any persons interested in trusts established hereunder, to compromise, settle or waive any claim or claims at any time due to or by the trust in such manner and to such extent as my Trustee considers to be in the best interest of the trust beneficiary, and to make an agreement with any other person, persons or corporation in respect thereof, which shall be binding upon such beneficiary;
    13. To make or not make any election, determination, designation or allocation required or permitted to be made by my Trustee (either alone or jointly with others) under any of the provisions of any local, state, federal, or other taxing statute, in such manner as my Trustee, in his or her absolute discretion, deems advisable, and each such election, determination, designation or allocation when so made shall be final and binding upon all persons concerned;
    14. To pay himself or herself a reasonable compensation out of the trust assets; and
    15. To employ and rely on the advice given by any attorney, accountant, investment advisor, or other agent to assist the Trustee in the administration of this trust and to compensate them from the trust assets.

    The above authority and powers granted to my Trustee are in addition to any powers and elective rights conferred by statute or federal law or by other provision of this Will and may be exercised as often as required, and without application to or approval by any court.

    (2) Other Provisions

    1. Subject to the terms of this my Will, I direct that my Trustee will not be liable for any loss to my estate or to any beneficiary resulting from the exercise by him or her in good faith of any discretion given him or her in this my Will;
    2. Any trust created in this Will shall be administered as independently of court supervision as possible under the laws of the State having jurisdiction over the trust; and
    3. If any trust condition is held invalid, it will not affect other provisions that can be given effect without the invalid provision.

  34. GENERAL PROVISIONS
  35. Individuals Omitted From Bequests
  36. If I have omitted to leave property in this Will to one or more of my heirs as named above the failure to do so is intentional except as otherwise expressly provided in this my Will.
  37. Insufficient Estate
  38. If the value of my estate is insufficient to fulfill all of the bequests described in this Will then I give my Executor full authority to decrease each bequest by a proportionate amount.
  39. No Contest Provision
  40. If any beneficiary under this Will contests in any court any of the provisions of this Will, then each and all such persons shall not be entitled to any devises, legacies, bequests, or benefits under this Will or any codicil hereto, and such interest or share in my estate shall be disposed of as if that contesting beneficiary had not survived me.
  41. Severability
  42. If any provisions of this Will are deemed unenforceable, the remaining provisions will remain in full force and effect.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have signed my name on this the 2nd day of July, 2015, at __________, Virginia, declaring and publishing this instrument as my Last Will, in the presence of the undersigned witnesses, who witnessed and subscribed this Last Will at my request, and in my presence.


_____________________________
____________________ (Testator) Signature

SIGNED AND DECLARED by ____________________ on the 2nd day of July, 2015 to be their Last Will, in our presence, at __________, Virginia, who at their request, in their presence and in the presence of each other, all being present at the same time, have signed our names as witnesses.


________________________
Witness #1 Signature
________________________
Witness #1 Name (Please Print)
________________________
Witness #1 Street Address
________________________
Witness #1 City/State


________________________
Witness #2 Signature
________________________
Witness #2 Name (Please Print)
________________________
Witness #2 Street Address
________________________
Witness #2 City/State


________________________
Witness #3 Signature
________________________
Witness #3 Name (Please Print)
________________________
Witness #3 Street Address
________________________
Witness #3 City/State


AFFIDAVIT

STATE OF VIRGINIA

COUNTY/CITY OF _____________________________

Before me, the undersigned authority, on this day personally appeared ____________________, ____________________, ____________________ and ____________________, known to me to be the Testator and the witnesses, respectively, whose names are signed to the attached or foregoing instrument and, all of these persons being by me first duly sworn, ____________________, the Testator, declared to me and to the witnesses in my presence that the instrument is the Last Will of the Testator and that they had willingly signed or directed another to sign the same for them, and executed it in the presence of said witnesses as their free and voluntary act for the purposes therein expressed; that said witnesses stated before me that the foregoing Last Will was executed and acknowledged by the Testator as their Last Will in the presence of said witnesses who, in the Testator's"" presence and at their"" request, and in the presence of each other, did subscribe their names thereto as attesting witnesses on the day of the date of said Last Will, and that the Testator, at the time of the execution of said Last Will, was over the age of eighteen years and of sound and disposing mind and memory.


_____________________________
Testator


__________________________
Witness #1


__________________________
Witness #2


__________________________
Witness #3

Subscribed, sworn and acknowledged before me by ____________________, the Testator, and subscribed and sworn before me by ____________________, ____________________ and ____________________, witnesses, this _____ day of ____________________, A.D. 20_______.


SIGNED _____________________________

______________________________________
(OFFICIAL CAPACITY OF OFFICER)

Last Will & Testament

Alternate Names:

A Last Will and Testament is also known as:

  • Will
  • Will and Testament
  • Last Will

What is a Last Will & Testament?

A Last Will and Testament is a legal document which allows you to control how your estate will be distributed after you pass away. A Last Will also enables you to appoint a guardian for your minor children as well as provide instructions and set aside funds for the care of any pets you may have.

Who should use a Last Will & Testament?

A Last Will and Testament should be used by anyone over the age of 18 to help avoid potential disputes or confusion regarding your estate. A Last Will is especially important for parents with minor children as it will allow you to appoint a guardian and have a say in how your children will be raised.

How to Create a Last Will & Testament

Creating a Last Will and Testament doesn't have to be difficult. Whether you decide to use LawDepot's online software to create your Last Will and Testament or visit a lawyer, you should be prepared to address the following:

Who is the Testator

The testator is the person whose property will be distributed upon death - that's you. Female testators are often referred to as the testatrix.

Designate a Beneficiary

A beneficiary is a person or organization who will receive a gift under your Will. Designating a beneficiary allows you to control who will receive your property after you pass away and help avoid any confusion or disputes. If you don't designate any beneficiaries, the courts will distribute your estate among your surviving family according to a pre-determined formula. In that case your friends or charities would receive nothing.

Name an Executor

An executor is the person who will administer the Will according to your written terms and is sometimes referred to as a personal representative. You should choose a trustworthy and responsible person for this important task.

Provide for Children and/or Pets

If you have children who are still minors, you should name a guardian who will be willing to care for them. You may also choose to set aside funds specifically for the care of your children or pets.

Review and Sign

If you have completed your Will, it's important to carefully review the document to make sure that it is free of errors and accurately reflects your wishes. Once you have verified the Will is accurate, it is critical that you sign the document according to the laws of your state. LawDepot will provide state-specific instructions to help you execute your Will.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q:
Why is a Last Will Important?
A:
A Last Will allows you to give instructions on who will get your property after your death, appoint the person who will administer your estate, and appoint a guardian for any minor children you may have. If you die without a valid Will, your property will instead be distributed by a court-appointed administrator according to a pre-determined formula (defined in state law). Without a Will, you would not be able to give your property to a non-relative or to exclude relatives. If you have no Will and there are no relatives at the time of your death, your property will go to the state.
Q:
Who can make a Last Will and Testament?
A:
Any person of legal age (usually 18 years of age) may make a Last Will, although an exception may be made if you are married, in the military, or have been legally emancipated. Additionally, most states require that you must be of "sound mind" to make a valid Will which means:
  • You understand you are making a Will and you know what a Will is;
  • You understand your relationship to the people mentioned in your Will; and
  • You understand the types and amount of property you own and how you wish to distribute it
Q:
Can I give away all my property in a Will?
A:
You can give away most, but not all, of your property in a Last Will. Typically the following cannot be given away in a Will:
  • Life insurance
  • 401(k) plan assets
  • Pension plan assets
  • Retirement plan assets
  • Annuities
  • Property held in a trust
  • Matrimonial home held jointly
Q:
What is the best way to create a Will?
A:
The best way to create your Last Will and Testament will depend on your personal circumstances. Since LawDepot's Last Will and Testament has been carefully drafted by lawyers and is ready to be customized with our proprietary software, LawDepot is ideal for anybody looking to create a strong, legally binding Will from the comfort of their own home.

Since Wills need to be periodically updated, LawDepot makes it easy to review your Will at any time because your work is saved when you create an account.

Q:
Who should I name as a guardian for my children?
A:
When choosing a guardian you should consider the following questions:
  • Is the guardian of legal age? Your proposed guardian must be an adult.
  • Is the guardian genuinely concerned for you child's welfare?
  • Does the proposed guardian have the time and ability to care for my child?
  • Is my child comfortable around the proposed guardian?
  • Where does the proposed guardian live? Will my child be able to adapt to the area and lifestyle?
Q:
Does a Will allow me to specify how my pets will be cared for?
A:
Yes, you can provide instructions to the executor (person administering your Will) to leave money for the upkeep of your pet(s) and ensure they will be cared for.

It is also a good idea to discuss any concerns regarding the care of your pets with trusted friends and family. Ideally you should also leave a spare house key with a person you trust to allow for expedient care of your pets in the case of an emergency.

Q:
Can I make a gift to a charity in my Will?
A:
Yes, you can make a gift to a charitable organization in your Will. LawDepot's questionnaire will help you accurately designate your gift to ensure that your contribution will be properly disbursed.
Q:
Do I still need a Will if I already have a Power of Attorney?
A:
Yes, a Power of Attorney only lets you give another person the authority to deal with your property while you are alive. Since a Power of Attorney will automatically end upon death, a Last Will and Testament is required in order to control how your estate is distributed after death.
Q:
What is the difference between a Last Will and a Living Will?
A:
A Last Will is used to distribute your property after your death and cannot be used to specify what type of medical treatment you want. In contrast, a Living Will (aka a Health Care Directive) allows you to specify your preferences for health care when you are no longer capable of giving consent yourself.
Q:
When should a Will be changed or revised?
A:
If you marry, divorce, or have a significant change in your family situation, you should update your Will to ensure it remains valid and relevant. Furthermore, since your Last Will and Testament is an important document, it should be reviewed periodically to make sure it still reflects your wishes.

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