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Your Washington, D.C. last will and testament, created with confidence

Create your last will and testament forms easily from home and in under an hour with FindLaw’s guided process.

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A Washington, D.C. will option to suit your needs

Last Will and Testament

For One Person

A do-it-yourself last will that’s easy to personalize.

$99
What’s included:
What’s included
Step-by-step guided process
Attorney-approved document compliant with your state’s laws
A last will and testament that’s customized to your wishes
Free changes and revisions to your will for up to one full year after purchase

BEST VALUE

Estate Planning Package

For One person

All the forms you need to create a personal estate plan

$189
What’s included:
What’s included
Last will and testament
Health care directive
Power of attorney
Free HIPAA release form
A comprehensive plan — for less
Free changes and revisions for up to one year after purchase

Still not sure what estate planning tools you need?


Fast, easy, reliable Washington, D.C. forms

If you die without a valid will in Washington D.C., your possessions will pass according to the law of intestate succession. Intestate succession means that your estate will be divided based on what the law says, and that could be different from what you actually want. If Washington D.C. intestacy laws come into play, you and your family lose control over your estate’s distribution.

Through your will, you can choose for yourself who should receive your property, pick guardians for minor children, decide what age beneficiaries can access their inheritance, and safeguard your estate by explicitly disinheriting individuals you do not wish to inherit.

Linda_Long_image

Written by:

Linda Long, J.D.

Contributing Author

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Reviewed by:

Tim Kelly, J.D.

Contributing Author

How It Works

It only takes minutes to control your future. Need help? Contact one of our directory attorneys.

Create an account

Create a secure account which is accessible through an easy dashboard you can access any time.

Gather information

You will need a list of your assets, contact information for important people, and any wishes you want to be honored when you’re gone.

Complete your documents

Answer all questions, then we’ll generate your digital documents for downloading, printing, and signing.

Make it legal

Carefully follow the instructions provided in the form, which may include signing your documents in front of witnesses or a notary.

Free Download

Plan for your future with confidence

This free guide will help you:

  • Learn the most common estate planning terms

  • Understand the essential estate planning tools

  • Gather critical information with an estate planning checklist

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Next steps to create your Washington, D.C. will

If you want a will, you can hire a lawyer or use a will form from a reliable source. If you use a form, follow these steps:

Get an understanding of your estate and your assets

Get a good feel for what is a part of your estate and what is not. In order to make a valid will, you must be able to demonstrate the necessary testamentary or mental capacity. There is no set definition of testamentary capacity, but many courts have reasoned that if a person has an idea of what property they own, it is a good indication that they intend to give their property away at their death.

Name your beneficiaries

You should give the full names and addresses of your beneficiaries to help your executor locate them when the time comes. You should also provide a comprehensive list of your assets. Make sure to include both real property and personal property. Real property refers to real estate like houses, land, and investment properties. Personal property covers everything else you own, like cars, furniture, and personal possessions. If you want specific items to go to specific people, you should include these details in your will.

Pick a personal representative

The personal representative is responsible for administering your estate according to your wishes. Any individual or business can act as a personal representative (such as a lawyer or bank). You should trust your personal representative to handle your estate properly. While the probate process is underway, your personal representative will work closely with your family and the courts. A personal representative should be appointed and a “back-up” agent should be named to act in their place if they can no longer fulfill their duties as a personal representative.

Sign and notarize

A last will and testament does not have to be notarized to be valid in Washington, D.C. However, Washington, D.C. permits wills to be “self-proving.” A self-proving will is one that is signed by the testator and at least two witnesses in front of a notary public.

Update your will as necessary

Your will should be updated after every major life change. Such changes may include the birth of children or divorce and remarriage.

You may want to speak with a lawyer if you:

  • Have a past divorce, blended family, or other complex family situation
  • Have a high-value estate
  • Own a business
  • Want to create a special needs trust
  • Want legal review of your completed will
Find a local estate planning lawyer

Ready to begin your District of Columbia will?

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Common questions about Washington, D.C. wills

In a last will and testament, you expressly state what assets you own and to whom you intend to leave these assets. The effect only takes place after death. A will should name a personal representative who will handle and manage your estate after you die. Whenever you have minor children, you should name someone to act as their guardian. You should also name a secondary guardian in case your primary choice cannot care for your children.

Everyone should leave a last will and testament, regardless of the size of their estate. Your will should be viewed as a plan. Every individual can plan for their death with a will, avoiding costs and stress on your family when that time comes. There are certain items of property that do not pass with your will, for example, life insurance policies, property that has a co-owner, retirement plans, and other property that in itself has a beneficiary, but you can plan how and when your assets are distributed.

Under the laws of Washington, D.C. every will must conform to the following standards:

  • Be in writing
  • Be signed by the testator (i.e., the person who is executing the will) or a person under the direction and in the presence of the testator
  • Have attesting witnesses present to verify that this is the last will and testament of the testator and that they signed the document

It can be intimidating to think about writing your will. FindLaw’s attorneys made the process simpler and easier. Using FindLaw’s DIY tool, you can begin the process of creating a Washington, D.C. will.

Estate plans do not only include a last will and testament. Although a will is very important, and everyone should have one, a complete estate plan should also include a living will and advance directive. These are documents that can appoint a person to make decisions regarding your medical treatment in the event of your incapacity. In a document like a living will or advance directive, you can direct your family on whether you want life-sustaining treatment options.

“Testamentary capacity” refers to the testator’s mental ability to create and sign a legal document that distributes their property and names guardians for their minor children at death. Courts have recognized several ways for a plaintiff to prove testamentary capacity was not present when the will was executed, including that a testator did not know the extent of their estate or who would receive their estate if they left no will.

Yes, you can revoke a last will and testament. Since provisions of a will do not take effect until after your death, you are able to make changes to the will until your death.

In Washington, D.C. you can revoke your will by:

  • Destroying the will (i.e., burning, tearing, etc. )
  • Making a new will that expressly revokes the previous will

It is important to note that, if you revoke your previous will but never write a new will, your property will pass via intestate succession in Washington, D.C. Additionally, if you divorce your spouse, your previous Washington, D.C. last will and testament will be automatically revoked entirely. Make sure that you keep your last will and testament updated.

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  • Shane

    “I valued the easy-to-navigate layouts and the clean design of the forms. The price was the lowest I could find.”

  • Kat

    “FindLaw helps you fill in the blanks and produce a written doc per your state laws. All you need to do is sign and have it notarized. How easy!”

  • Paul

    “FindLaw’s website was extremely easy to navigate! It walks you through all the questions you need to answer – very simply. And the price point was excellent. Highly recommend!”

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