Free Rhode Island Last Will and Testament Form

A last will and testament is a legally binding document that expresses the testator’s final wish in the form prescribed by law. It establishes the lawful distribution of the will creator’s assets subsequent to their death.

As a preventative measure, it is highly suggested to create a will. A thought-out and effectively created last will can be important to the ones you love and your relatives upon your death even if you don’t have a large number of assets.

On this page, you’re able to get a free Rhode Island last will and testament form that you can fill in and print out. Other than that, down below, you can find lots of info related to the will preparation process and common questions.

Rhode Island Last Will Laws and Requirements

Requirements State laws
Signing requirement Two witnesses § 33-5-5. Execution of will – Acknowledgment and attestation
Age of testator 18 or older § 33-5-2. Testamentary capacity – Property subject to will
Age of witnesses 18 or older § 33-5-5. Execution of will – Acknowledgment and attestation
Self-proving wills Allowed § 33-7-26. Proof of purported will or codicil
Handwritten wills Might be recognized in specific cases § 33-5-6. Persons in military service – Sailors
Oral wills Might be recognized in specific cases
Holographic wills Might be recognized in specific cases

How to Write a Rhode Island Last Will and Testament

  1. Consider your possible choices. Make a decision whether or not you need to seek the services of lawyers or write your last will on your own (either by handwriting it or working with a free last will and testament template).
  2. Specify your information. Fill out your full name and address (the city, county, and state of residence) to ascertain the testator of the last will and testament. Go through the remaining portion of the passage, including the details you have entered along with the “Expenses and Taxes” subsection.
  3. Determine the executor. The next step is to decide on the executor of your last will and testament, the person responsible for ensuring all you write in this document gets done. To achieve that, you need to enter the executor’s full name, followed by their residential specifics (city, county, and state). Ensure that you appoint somebody who lives in the same state as you do. Otherwise, there will be much more paperwork and unnecessary hassle in the procedure resulting from different special rules every state has relating to out-of-state executors. As a precaution, it’s possible to appoint an alternative executor of your last will and testament. That way, you’ll be able to make sure that even if the first chosen executor can’t perform their duties, there’s a second dependable person you can rely on.
  4. Determine the guardian (optional). In case you’ve got minor or dependent children and don’t want the court to choose a guardian for the kids when you’re no longer here, it is possible to choose somebody you know as a guardian for your children.
  5. Establish your beneficiaries. This is where you indicate those who are going to inherit your property. Enter their full names, addresses, and your relationship to them (spouse, child,
  6. Distribute assets. List your assets and explain precisely how you want to distribute them to your inheritors if you’ve got something under consideration aside from splitting the estate commensurately. Assets may include cash, stocks, real estate, company ownership, money for unresolved debts, as well as any tangible things of monetary worth that count among your possessions. Please notice that there are things that cannot be distributed in your last will and testament, such as life insurance and shared and living will assets.
  7. Ask witnesses to sign the document. In accordance with Rhode Island General Laws, for any will to be considered valid, it has to be signed by two witnesses. They should be over 18 years old and have no interest in your estate, so they can’t be inheritors. Think about selecting witnesses who are younger than you to ensure they can be present if the will is contested in the court or if any other problem arises. After a careful revision of every paragraph in your last will, all parties involved (you and your two witnesses) must fill out their full names and addresses and sign the will.

Get a Free Rhode Island Last Will Template

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Frequently Asked Questions

What's the primary difference between 'Power of Attorney' and 'Executor'?


The primary difference between the two documents is that when you have passed away, the agent you assign through power of attorney loses their legal authority to deal with any matters in your stead.

There are two primary ones among the power of attorney types:

  • General power of attorney – enables you to assign a proxy (agent) who will have the ability to manage your financial and legal matters in your stead. But, this document will become void in case the PoA author passes away or becomes incapacitated.
  • Durable power of attorney – grants the same authority to the proxy as the previous type but stays effective even when the individual on behalf of whom the agent acts becomes incapacitated.

An executor is a person you establish in the will to manage your affairs after you pass on. You may appoint one individual to act as an attorney-in-fact and a will executor.

Is a Rhode Island will form effective without notarization?


Rhode Island law says that a last will is valid without getting a notary public to certify it. But if you would like to add a self-proving affidavit to the will, you’ll need to notarize it. Making your will self-proving might be a great choice because it speeds up the probate and provides another level of security should the will’s legitimacy be doubted.

What's better: an attested or holographic will?


In Rhode Island, holographic wills are not valid unless they are created by a member of the armed forces of the United States while in actual military or naval service during a war or a mariner while at sea. To write a holographic last will, you must write the entire thing by hand. These wills tend to be more usually used in cases of emergency and/or until more official documents can be used (either by an attorney at law or with a last will template like the one you can obtain from our website). A suitably detailed last will can be much better for the future probate procedure because holographic wills can include unclear provisions that can easily slow down the probate and make it more costly and/or challenging to impose.

An attested will is usually typed since it’s commonly prepared by an attorney or is based upon a last will template, like the one you can get here. You will need to have two witnesses (18 years or more) sign the last will in your presence so that it is regarded as valid. In certain states, you would need to notarize it, but in Rhode Island, it’s not necessary.

What does it imply to be testamentary capable?


The testator has to fulfill testamentary capacity prerequisites to be able to write and modify their last will, including being of sound mind. There are generally two requirements to meet: age and soundness of mind. In the majority of states, you’ve got to be over 18 years old to create a last will. Being of sound mind means that you’re conscious of your property as well as the heirs of your possessions and fully understand the aftermaths of your doings.

Do I have to add a self-proving affidavit to my last will in Rhode Island?


No, in Rhode Island, there isn’t such a requirement. Nevertheless, attaching one may be quite beneficial since it eliminates the need for witnesses testimony in the course of probate, which speeds up the procedure a lot.

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

Is child or spouse disinheritance allowed?


As regards to your spouse, it is significant to highlight that Rhode Island is not a community property state, meaning it is not required that all of the belongings that were gathered while in the marriage or that increased with the capital got during the mentioned marriage, belong to each of the spouses evenly. In Rhode Island, you have the right to disinherit your spouse, but the latter will be able to get some minimum amount of your property.

In the state of Rhode Island, the divorce rate is 4.9 per 1,000 women over 15 years old, which is one of the lowest rates among the United States (according to Census.gov 2018 study).

Besides your husband or wife, Rhode Island law enables you to disinherit any other family member. With the addition of corresponding disinheritance paragraphs to your last will and testament, you will be able to exclude your children (of 18 years and above) or other family members from receiving any belongings.


No, it is only you who is permitted to change your last will and testament. Another person can only sign the last will if you’re physically incapable of doing so.

In Rhode Island, am I allowed to modify a typewritten last will after signing it?


Yes, this can be done.

A testator can alter or repeal his or her last will and testament at any time. The sole situation that will not allow you to do it is if such doing is prohibited under the contract you signed.

It will also be a wise decision to revise your last will and testament in such situations:

  • Adoption or childbirth
  • You have divorced or married
  • You purchased or sold real estate or a considerable piece of property
  • Fundamental changes in your financial situation

What if I have lost my last will?


In case the last will and testament has been lost or destroyed, as outlined by Rhode Island law, the court can accept it. However, the probate court will be unlikely to admit anything other than the initial version of the last will to probate.

Rhode Island law gives an assumption that the absence of the will means it’s repealed. This puts the obligation on the proponent of the last will and testament to give proof of the stated last will.

For holographic last wills, the situation can become more troublesome as sworn witnesses and testimony are demanded. Furthermore, you will also have to provide proof of the reason why the last will and testament and its contents cannot be produced in ways that will ensure it hasn’t been annulled.

How can a physically impaired person sign their last will and testament?


Rhode Island Estate Code permits some other individual to sign your last will and testament just per your directive and with you present. The person who wrote the will can express their last wishes in words, by way of answering positively to a query, or with body language.

A notary can sign the name of the testator if the testator isn’t able to do so due to a physical impairment. The notary public must be directed to do so with a witness present. It is important to mention that these witnesses are not allowed to have an interest (equitable or legal) in any of the properties and assets being the issue matter or that may be affected by this type of a document (the will).

Related documents When to make one
Codicil Your will requires one or a couple of minor changes.
Self-proving affidavit You need to expedite the probate later on.
Living will You want to declare your wishes regarding the end-of-life health care and life-prolonging measures.
Living trust You would like to deal with your end-of-life affairs without probate.
Published: Sep 18, 2020