Free Delaware Last Will and Testament Form

A will is a document containing the last will of its owner (testator) and establishing exactly how and by whom his or her estate will be used in the event of death. Preparing a last will can be a smart option for anybody who wants to avoid conflicts and misunderstandings.

Even when you haven’t got a lot of assets, a will might help your family situation and prove to be vital to those you love after your death.

In this article, you’ll find a Delaware last will and testament form for download and the information intended to clear your smallest doubts concerning estate planning, kinds of will, and how to create a valid document.


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Delaware Last Will Laws and Requirements

Requirements State laws
Statutes Title 12 – Decedents’ Estates and Fiduciary Relations; Part II – Wills
Signing requirement Two witnesses § 202 Requisites and execution of will
Age of testator 18 and older § 201 Who may make a will
Age of witnesses § 203 Witnesses; persons competent
Self-proving wills Allowed § 1305 Self-proved will
Handwritten wills Might be recognized if witnessed according to state law § 202 Requisites and execution of will
Oral wills Not recognized
Holographic wills Not recognized
Depositing a will Possible with the office of the Register of Wills and Estates of the Delaware county A fee is county-specific § 2513 Deposit of original wills with Register in New Castle County, Kent County, and Sussex County

How to Prepare a Delaware Last Will

1. Think about your options. Determine if you need to hire lawyers or make last will and testament yourself (either by handwriting it all or getting a free will template).

2. Specify your information. Step one is establishing the testator by filling out their full legal name, followed by the residential info (city, county, and state). Reread the remaining portion of the passage, including the information you have written along with the “Expenses and Taxes” paragraph.

step 2 - filling out a delaware last will form

3. Choose the executor. Determine the executor of your property and enter their particulars: full name and place of residence, with the latter being in the same state the testator lives since the majority of states enforce special regulations on out-of-state executors. Although it is not required, it makes sense to choose one more person to act as an executor in case the first one is unwilling or incapable of carrying out your last will and testament.

step 3 - filling out a delaware last will form

4. Indicate the guardian (optional). You can choose a trusted person as a guardian in the event that you have underage or dependent children that need to be taken care of. In case there are no directions concerning who exactly should look after your children, the guardian will be selected by the court.

step 4 - filling out a delaware last will form

5. Indicate your beneficiaries. At this point, indicate individuals to whom you wish to hand on your property, that is, your beneficiaries. For every inheritor, enter the next particulars: full legal name, address, and the way they are related to you.

6. Designate assets. It’s possible to define which of the beneficiaries receives this or that piece of property. If you don’t, the assets are going to be distributed equally amongst the listed beneficiaries. Cash, shares, realty, business control, money for outstanding debts, and any material things of financial worth that count among your possessions can be in your last will. Please be aware that there are things that cannot be distributed in your will, for instance, life insurance and shared and living will assets.

step 5-6 - filling out a delaware last will form

7. Continue with the witnesses putting the signatures at the end of the document. According to Delaware Code, for a last will to be valid, it has to be signed by two witnesses. You are able to name another person as a witness only when they’re older than 18 years and uninvolved in your heritage. As a possible additional preventative measure against situations when your will is challenged or some other problems, it’s advisable to appoint a witness who is younger than you to ensure they’ll be there after you pass away. At this point, you (as well as your two witnesses) have to sign the document after filling in your full legal addresses and names. Don’t neglect to review every paragraph carefully prior to finalizing the matter.

step 7 - filling out a delaware last will form

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the main difference between 'Power of Attorney' and 'Executor'?

The main difference between the two documents is that when you die, the representative you name via power of attorney loses their official authority to handle any matters for you.

You can find different kinds of power of attorney, the two main ones being:

  • General power of attorney – allows you to assign a proxy (agent) who will have the ability to handle your financial and legal matters instead of you. But, this document becomes void in case the principal passes away or becomes incapacitated.
  • Durable power of attorney – grants the identical rights to the proxy as the prior type but continues to be effective even when the person on behalf of whom the agent acts becomes disabled.

An executor is someone you trust and designate to make sure the will’s instructions are performed. The same person could be your will’s executor and attorney-in-fact.

Is will notarization necessary by Delaware law?

A last will and testament in Delaware is effective without a notary certification. Nonetheless, you will need a notary if you wish to make your will self-proving by adding an affidavit to the document. A self-proving last will makes probate simpler since the court can recognize it without contacting the witnesses who are involved.

IMPORTANT: Even though notarization is not required for last wills in Delaware, it usually helps facilitate the probate.

When weighing attested and holographic wills, which one is preferable?

For a holographic last will to be legally binding, you need to handwrite your entire document, put the date of writing, sign it, and have it witnessed according to the state law. These last wills are more commonly utilized in emergencies and/or until more official documents can be created (whether by a lawyer or using a last will template such as the one you can get from this website). Holographic wills can contain ambiguous directions and may miss essential provisions, so they are harder to put in force and can delay the probate significantly. Hence, it may be a better choice to go with the other option that we discuss below.

An attested will is a typewritten document that is often based on a fillable template obtainable online or prepared with the aid of an attorney. For it to be regarded as valid, it has to be signed by the testator and two credible witnesses over the age of 18 in the testator’s presence, which can also be exercised in the presence of a notary public. However, the latter isn’t needed in Delaware.

What's testamentary capacity?

Testamentary capacity is used to describe the testator’s (the person creating the will) legal and mental ability (sound mind) to write and modify their will.

You might be considered as lacking testamentary capacity in case you are underage (under 18 years old) or suffer from dementia, senility, insanity, or a similar mental illness that makes it impossible for you to have a full understanding of your property’s value, beneficiaries, distribution, and the interrelationship of those points.

Is it mandatory (in Delaware) to add a self-proving affidavit to my last will?

It is not strictly required in Delaware. Still, in case you make a decision to include a self-proving affidavit, it can be very useful as the document functions as an alternative for in-court testimony of witnesses during probate.

Can you leave out your children or spouse from a last will?

In Delaware, there is no such a term as community or marital property. The term means that all possessions gathered or increased while in the marriage have to be equally distributed between the spouses.

In Delaware, you are able to disinherit your marriage partner, but your spouse will be entitled to a certain minimum of your property.

Aside from your marriage partner, Delaware law allows you to disinherit other members of your family. By including particular disinheritance paragraphs to your last will and testament, you’ll be able to leave your children (those of 18 years and older) or other members of the family out from obtaining any of the belongings.

Can my last will and testament be changed without my approval?

It is only the testator who can amend their will. A 3rd party can only sign the last will and testament in case you are physically unable to do it.

Can a signed, typewritten last will be revised in Delaware?

Yes, you are allowed to revise it.

Based on Delaware law, you can alter or repeal the will if you aren’t obligated by a legal contract stating the opposite.

Also, it is a good idea to revise your last will and testament whenever you go through a major life event such as:

  • Adoption or birth of a child
  • You got divorced or married
  • Purchasing or selling real estate
  • Your money situation has changed noticeably

What are the consequences of losing a will?

In Delaware, the law indicates that the court can accept a last will in case it has been destroyed or lost. But, nothing but the original of the last will may be approved by the probate court.

Delaware law gives a supposition that the absence of the will means it has been annulled. That places the obligation on the proponent of the last will to provide proof of the said last will.

For a holographic last will, you may require sworn witnesses and testimony to show. This will make the process more troublesome. The reason behind not providing the will and its contents is to be demonstrated too.

In case I'm physically incapable of signing my will, what am I to do?

As per Delaware Estate Code, it is possible for someone to sign his or her will, given that it is your (as a testator) directive and with you present. It’s possible to give a particular directive using several methods, which include verbal communication, a positive answer to a question, or body gestures.

A notary can sign the testator’s name if the latter can’t do it on account of a physical disability. The notary public needs to be instructed to do it in the presence of a witness. This witness is chosen just like someone could decide on an executor – they cannot have any legal or equitable interest in any assets being the subject of or impacted by the last will and testament.

Related documents When to make one
Codicil There are several small adjustments you’d like to make to your last will.
Self-proving affidavit You want to save time and legal fees for your witnesses.
Living will You would like to ensure that, if you become incapacitated, you get treated the way you would like to.
Living trust You want to deal with your end-of-life matters without probate.
Published: Sep 15, 2020
Mara Erlach
Mara Erlach
Writer & Attorney
Mara has been practicing estate planning and trust law in California since 2003, taking pride in helping clients of all backgrounds and asset profiles form a complete and customized estate plan. Her specialties are: estate planning, wills and trusts, trust and probate administration.