The last will and testament also serves as a legal instruction about the inheritance of certain assets by people or organizations that are not blood relatives to the deceased person. If you want to sign away some of your property to educational or healthcare institutions, research organizations, or charitable entities, the last will can become your written and notarized instruction for doing so after your death.
What to Include in the Last Will in Wisconsin?
The basic will form provided by the State of Wisconsin (Wisconsin Statute’s section 853.33) contains the following sections:
- #1. The testator’s declaration that it is their free will to sign this document, which revokes all previous wills and codicils
- #2. Disposition of property. In this section, the testator should indicate the beneficiaries inheriting all their property, including personal and household items, recreational objects, cash, bank accounts, tangible and intangible assets, real estate, etc. Next to each person or charity receiving certain gifts according to the last will, the testator should put their signature.
- #3. Nominations of personal representatives and guardians. Here the testator should indicate who their personal representative will be (they can name up to three representatives). If the testator has underage children, they can also assign guardians for them in the last will. This section also includes an indication of whether bonds will be assigned to representatives or guardians.
- Personal details. After the sections are completed, the testator should indicate the date of the last will’s completion, the city and state where it was completed, and sign the last will form. Next, the will is signed by two witnesses who also write their names, residence addresses, and the date of signing the will.
Legal Requirements for Last Will Completion
Chapter 853 stipulates the following legal requirements for the execution and revocation of the last will in Wisconsin:
- The testator should be at least 18 years old
- The testator and two witnesses should sign the will
- To be self-proving, the last will should be signed in the presence of an authorized state agent or notarized with notary public (this can be done by following a one-step or two-step procedure)
- The signed and notarized last will can’t be amended or supplemented with additional instructions. To give new instructions, the testator should revoke the current last will in writing or by completing a new last will.
- Testators who have children aged under 21 are recommended to complete basic wills with trust and to assign trustees who will manage the trust’s assets until their children reach the age of 21.
Create Your Last Will Online
If you want to make a correct last will document without a legal advisor, it can be quickly done with the help of our simple printable PDF forms of Wisconsin last will. Download the fillable, free Wisconsin last will and testament template from our website and write all the relevant data into it for further notarization with the witnesses. We also offer a user-friendly step-by-step last will builder on the website, which you can use to customize the form to your unique needs.
Should I Notarize a Last Will in Wisconsin?
To follow the laws of Wisconsin, you need to have your last will document witnessed and signed by two witnesses. Notarization is not required.
What If I Die Without a Will in Wisconsin?
If you die without completing a last will, the Wisconsin intestate succession laws come into force to distribute your belongings. The rule of thumb is to pass all belongings to the deceased person’s closest relatives (spouse is the number one heir, followed by children, parents, and siblings).
What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Having a Last Will?
Pluses and minuses of having a last will are numerous, and all should be considered before completing and signing the document.
First, completing the last will gives you the peace of mind because even in case of an emergency or accident, you know that your last will is documented and (optional) legally notarized. Thus, even people who are not your blood relatives will get a portion of your funds you wanted to donate or present as a gift for research or social needs.
Second, the last will saves your relatives the trouble of sharing your estate as soon as you are dead. Unresolved conflicts or rivalry can erode family relationships, turning your tight family union into ruins because of greed. To avoid confusion, you may share the estate as you wish, closing this question for your family members.
Third, it is always comforting to know that your underage children and business will get into the right hands in case of a disaster. Unexpected responsibilities that may lie on the shoulders of unsuspecting (and unwilling) relatives may ruin the lives of people close to you. Thus, it is always wise to plan in advance and choose trustees and guardians among the people you’re confident in.
The major minus of having a last will is that people change as their lives go on, so that they may change their minds about their belongings too often. Every time a new last will may take time and effort for its completion, witnessing, and notarization, which is a hassle.
Second, the last will should be renewed every time your estate changes. For instance, if you buy a new apartment or sell a yacht, these changes should be reflected in the document.
Third, since the last will is usually made public, the subjective way of distributing the assets may cause you unnecessary trouble with family members or relatives. Some of them may think that they were mistreated, thus spoiling their relationships with the testator.