Create Your Washington, D.C. Will in Just Minutes
Create a customized Washington, D.C. last will and testament. With FindLaw’s simple process, you can craft your last will from home and feel at ease.
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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. The benefit of a will is that the control remains in your hands.
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.
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Estate Planning Package
For One Person
All the forms you need to create a personal estate plan.
How It Works
It only takes minutes to control your future. Need help? Contact one of our directory attorneys.
Answer Key Questions
In order to get started, you need a list of your assets, accounts, contact information of important people, and wishes for the future.
Create an Account
Creating an account is easy, quick, and secure. Save your information as you go and return when you have time.
We Create Your Document
We’ve done the hard part by researching and developing your state-specific form. You simply need to follow our clear process.
Print, Sign & Make It Legal
Print and sign your documents according to the instructions. This may include signing in front of witnesses or a notary.
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: See full process
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
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
Ready to get started on your District of Columbia will? It’s free to start.Create My Will
Frequently Asked Questions About 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.
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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