Wills are used to state the after-death plans for one's estate, which may include real estate and material possessions. Wills also allow the testator (the person writing the will) to make funeral requests and preferences, for example.
Washington State Requirements For A Valid Will
There are a few basic requirements for a Washington last will and testament. First, the testator must be at least 18 years old and capable of reasoning and making decisions. Also, he or she must sign the will or have someone else sign it at his or her request and in his or her presence.
How Many Witnesses Do I Need?
Creating a valid will isn't a solo activity. At least two people (who are not receiving anything under the Will) who witness the signing or the acknowledgment of the signing of the Will must sign their names in the testator's presence and at his/her request. This is meant to prevent fraud or other illegal activities.
The testator can use the Will to distribute property to anyone he or she chooses.
Handwritten and Oral Wills
Washington will laws do not allow holographic (handwritten) wills and place restrictions on nuncupative (oral) wills, limiting personal property to $1,000 and prohibiting real estate designations.
The following chart lists the main provisions of Washington's wills laws. See FindLaw's Wills section for more articles and resources.
||11.12.010, et seq.
|Age of Testator
||18 years or older and of sound mind
|Number of Witnesses
||Attested by two or more competent witnesses by subscribing their names to the will or by signing an affidavit (2) while in the presence of and at the direction of the testator.
|Nuncupative (Oral Wills)
||No real estate; personal property not more than $1000; members of U.S. Armed Forces and persons employed on U.S. Merchant Marine vessels may dispose of wages and personal property; must be made with two witnesses present at time of making that testator requested person to bear witness to will and that it was made at time of last sickness; must be reduced to writing, proof offered within 6 months of words spoken, and citation issued to widows and heirs-at-law that they might contest.
Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Washington wills attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Research the Law
Washington Wills Laws: Related Resources