Last will completion and registration is regulated by Chapter 4 of the Code of Virginia. It gives general provisions as to the types of wills accepted in court, wills and decedents’ estates, trusts, fiduciaries, guardians, and the set of provisions related to probate and non-probate transfers. Handwritten or holographic wills are still accepted in Virginia. The only requirement is that testators write their wishes and sign the document. Such a will can count as a legal document as long as two things can be proven without a doubt:
- That testator is 18 years of age or older, and
- That testator is of sound mind to make proper decisions.
The handwriting of a will is simple, but it is still recommended to file the last will and testament in the typed form, with only relevant boxes filled by hand, for the document not to be challenged in court. The procedure and requirements of will execution are listed in Section 403 of Title 64.2.
How to Write a Will in Virginia
When it comes to writing a will in Virginia, several conditions should be met for completing the process correctly. To be a legal and binding document, the last will should be signed in the presence of two witnesses and notarized after that. The document begins with a statement that requires the testator’s full name, city, and county indication. This first section identifies the testator and shows that their wishes are expressed in free will. Testators should be prepared to name their executor and beneficiaries to create their last will statement.
Choose an Executor
Executors are the person that will take charge and start all of the processes needed to fulfill the testator’s wishes. This should be a person that can take control and get things done. Besides confidence and trust in this person, testators should have faith that the executor will properly oversee that things run smoothly. It is best to choose someone who can make quick but wise decisions, and who will act with your family’s best interest in mind. Executors will take control and oversee the process from start to finish, including funeral plans and property distributions. It is also suggested to choose an alternate if the primary executor is unable to fulfill their duties.
A beneficiary is a person receiving your belongings. Whether this is property or other items, you can select as many beneficiaries as you want. Each beneficiary is selected by the testator, which can then specify items, finances, and property that will go to each person. The most common beneficiaries are immediate family and friends, but some testators also leave some funds or assets to charity or religious organizations, research institutes, and unrelated people they respect and support.
Create Your Last Will and Testament Online
Our website has a free Virginia last will and testament form that you can download in a PDF format for completion. This fillable and printable form comes with an easy to follow the structure that requires you to sign and date the document. Included within the pages are also information and statements that are useful to read. Besides, we offer a convenient step-by-step builder on the website, allowing you to create a fully customized last will in minutes. By using our templates, testators can rest assured that they have included everything necessary to fulfill their last wishes.
Filling Out the Will
When filling out the last will testament, Virginia residents should have completed the following arrangements:
- Two witnesses
- A selected executor or executors
- List of beneficiaries and the items they wish them to receive
- A notary public (optional)
Starting with basic personal information about the testator, the form continues to include information about selected executors. Testators will only need to indicate the names, city, and county of the executor’s residence, along with their current address for this section. For beneficiaries, testators will need to indicate their names, city and county, the last four digits of their social security numbers, and a list of the items they wish to go to them in the event of their death.
When the time of signing the last will by the testator comes, both witnesses need to be present, providing their signatures as testament. They will need to sign and print their names, put the date on the document, and print the name of the testator in which they are witness to. After all the signatures are present on the last will form, a notary public will certify that all was done legally.
What If I Die Without a Will?
Without allocating your properties in the event of your death, the distributions go to your immediate family. This includes your spouse and children first. If not applicable, your grandchildren or great grandchildren will come next. If none of the above are living or eligible, your properties will go to your parents or grandparents. If none of the persons mentioned can accept your benefits, other extended family members like nieces, nephews, and more will be considered.
If there is no one to take over your properties, the state of Virginia will receive the property, and it will not go to anyone else. To make sure that your property is secured and goes to those you love, you should fill out the last will. It guarantees that all of your assets are distributed to the right people and that your family is taken care of in case anything happens. If you don’t have family and wish to pass all your belongings to a dear friend, that is also possible with a will; otherwise, it is out of your hands. It is best to prepare and take care of business so that your family is not burdened with the legal hassle of organizing property succession instead of mourning you.