Create Your Washington Last Will and Testament Today
From the comfort of your own home, you can create a last will and testament that contains your final wishes regarding the distribution of your property. Our simple, step-by-step process can be completed in minutes and will ensure that your family will be taken care of in the manner of your choosing.
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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 or set up a trust in your will. 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.
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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.
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: See full process
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
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.
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
Ready to get started on your Washington will? It’s free to start.Create My Will
Frequently Asked Questions About 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.
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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