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Your Washington last will and testament, created with confidence

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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

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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

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Quick and reliable Washington last will and testament

Although most people write a will because they want a say in how their assets will be distributed when they die, there are actually many reasons to make a will. In addition to specifying who gets your real and personal property when you die, you can also name a guardian for your minor children, decide the age beneficiaries can access their inheritance, and safeguard your estate by explicitly disinheriting individuals you do not wish to inherit. You can also choose who will handle the administration of your estate. If you don’t put your final wishes into a valid Washington will, a court may end up making important decisions for you.

Acacia_Wilson_Image

Written by:

Acacia Wilson, Esq.

Contributing Author

JP_Finet_image

Reviewed by:

J.P. Finet, 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.

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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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What are the steps for making my Washington last will and testament valid?

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:

Make a list of all of your assets

It’s helpful to start the process of making your will by listing your assets. You may or may not want to dispose of all of your property in your will, but having a list handy can help you make sure you’re including all of your real and personal property in your estate plan.

Include the following types of assets in your list:

  • Checking and savings accounts
  • Real estate
  • Stocks and bonds
  • Vehicles

Keep in mind that you can transfer property to your loved ones in many ways. For example, if you’d like to leave money to an adult child but you’re worried about their money management skills, you can set up a trust in your will. With a trust, you can provide instructions to a trustee to disburse funds to your child in small amounts rather than a lump sum.

Choose your beneficiaries

Many people choose their spouse and children as beneficiaries, but you can choose any person you’d like to receive something from your estate. Consider whether you’d like to name any friends, neighbors, or co-workers as beneficiaries. You can even make an organization, such as your favorite charity a beneficiary in your will.

Choose your executor

You should name an executor in your will. The person you choose as executor of your estate will have the responsibility of paying your debts and disbursing the remainder of your estate to your beneficiaries. Choose someone you trust as your executor and also choose an alternate executor.

If you die intestate (without a will), a probate court may appoint an executor or personal representative for your estate. In creating a will, you have the opportunity to choose the person who will administer your estate for yourself.

Choose guardians

If you have minor children or incapacitated adult children, you might want to think about who would take care of them in the event of your death. If you die without having made a choice of guardian, a court could end up appointing someone.

Choose someone you trust and who you believe can handle the responsibilities and duties of being a guardian. Also, choose an alternate guardian. Naming an alternate puts someone in place in case the first person you chose as guardian is unable or unwilling to fulfill the role.

Execute your last will and testament

The laws regarding the proper execution of a last will and testament vary from state to state, so it’s important that you comply with the laws of your state. If your Washington last will and testament doesn’t meet state law requirements, it could be found invalid.

The Revised Code of Washington lists the requirements for the person who’s making a will. The person making a will is called a testator. For a will to be valid in the state of Washington, the testator must be of sound mind and at least 18 years of age.

There are additional requirements for the will itself. RCW 11.12.020 states that your last will and testament must be:

  • In writing
  • Signed by the testator (or by someone else at the testator’s direction)
  • Attested to by at least two competent witnesses

You should sign your will in front of your witnesses. It’s a good idea to get your will notarized, but it’s not a requirement. Whether or not you have your will notarized could affect the speed with which your family is able to get the will through probate.

When a notary public or other officer who is authorized to administer oaths notarizes a will, it becomes self-proving. This means that the probate court won’t require witness testimony regarding the validity of the will. If your will is not notarized, a probate court may require witnesses to come forward and provide testimony. Because it can be difficult and time-consuming to locate witnesses and get them in court, it could be beneficial for your family if you have a self-proving will.

Store your will in a safe and accessible place

It’s a good idea to store your will in a safe and accessible place so that the people who need to access it when you die can get to it. A common mistake is to place a will in a safe deposit box that only the testator can access. This can be problematic because your family may have to get the court involved to get authorization to access your safe deposit box.

Consider placing your will in a home safe or other place that your family can access. Let your executor know where you placed the will and how to get to it.

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 Washington will?

Create my will

Questions people often ask about Washington wills

Yes, you can make a Washington last will and testament without a lawyer’s involvement. Using our guided, step-by-step process, you can create your own will in just minutes.

FindLaw is not a law firm, and the forms are not a substitute for the advice or services of an attorney. If you’re more comfortable having a lawyer involved in the process, you could contact an experienced estate planning attorney in your area for a review of your last will and testament.

In the state of Washington, if you die without a will, a court may apply the laws of intestate succession to determine how your property will be distributed. Generally, your spouse and children are entitled to shares of your estate under the laws of intestate succession. More distant relatives may also be able to take a share of your estate under certain circumstances. The probate court usually appoints an executor or personal representative to administer your estate if you don’t name one.

You can look for free templates for your last will and testament, but be aware that the forms you find may not be tailored to the state of Washington or your circumstances. You could end up with an invalid will or a will that needs to be revised by a lawyer. Rather than selecting a template that may not work well for your situation, you can use the state-specific forms that are available on FindLaw.

Yes, you can revoke or make changes to your last will and testament. Under the laws of Washington, you may revoke your will by destroying it or by creating another will that revokes the prior will.

It’s advisable that you review your will from time to time so that you can make any necessary changes, especially after major life events. With FindLaw, you can edit your last will and testament for up to a year.

A last will and testament becomes effective upon your death. There are other legal documents that take effect during your lifetime, and you might wish to add these documents to your estate plan, as well. A power of attorney can be used to authorize someone you trust to make financial or health care decisions on your behalf. Additionally, you might wish to make a living will that explains your wishes regarding medical treatment and end-of-life care.

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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.”

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    “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!”

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    “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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