Free Vermont Last Will and Testament Form

A will is a document that contains the final will of its owner (testator) and decides how and by whom his or her property will be used in case of death. Generally, most of us will only benefit from having a last will.

An elaborate and appropriately made last will and testament is often important to your loved ones and relations after your passing even if you don’t possess a large amount of property and assets.

On this page, it’s possible to download a free Vermont last will and testament form that you can fill in and print. In addition to that, below, there are a lot of details in relation to the last will writing process and commonly asked questions.


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Vermont Last Will Laws and Requirements

Requirements State laws
Statutes Title 14 – Decedents Estates and Fiduciary Relations; Chapter 1 – Wills
Signing requirement Two witnesses § 5. Execution of will; requisites
Age of testator 18 or older or an emancipated minor § 1. Who may make
Age of witnesses 18 or older § 5. Execution of will; requisites
Self-proving wills Allowed § 108. Self-proved wills
Handwritten wills Might be recognized if witnessed according to the state law § 5. Execution of will; requisites
Oral wills Might be recognized in specific cases § 7. How made by soldier or sailor; military will
Holographic wills Might be recognized in specific cases
Depositing a will Possible with the Probate Division of the Vermont Superior Court  A fee is $30 § 2. Deposit of will for safekeeping; delivery; final disposition § 1434. Probate cases

How to Make a Vermont Last Will and Testament

1. Consider your options. Prior to getting started, you may want to decide if you’d like to use the expertise of a legal professional or create the whole thing on your own. In the event that you wish to create the last will and testament by yourself, pick the type you will use: a handwritten will or maybe a free will template.

2. Indicate your information. Fill in your full name and address (the city, county, and state of residence) to determine the testator of the last will. Go through the information you wrote along with the rest of the section, including “Expenses and Taxes”.

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3. Appoint the executor (or executrix). Appoint the executor of your estate and enter their details: full legal name and place of residence, which will typically be in the same state the testator lives since most states enforce special policies on out-of-state executors. As a safeguard, it’s possible to designate an alternate executor of the last will and testament. This way, you will be able to make sure that even if the originally appointed executor can’t perform their obligations, there is a second dependable person you can count on.

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4. Choose the guardian (optional). You are able to specify a trusted person as a guardian if you have underage or dependent children that must be taken care of. If there are no directions concerning who exactly should look after your kids, the guardian will be appointed by the court.

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5. Specify your beneficiaries. Now specify all those to whom you’d like to hand your assets on, that is, your beneficiaries. For each beneficiary, enter the next particulars: full name, address, and the way they are related to you.

6. Assign possessions. When you have an asset allocation in mind that’s different from equal, you can describe it in this part. Money for unpaid arrears, real estate, stocks, company ownership, cash, as well as any material things of financial worth that count among your possessions can be brought up in your will. Please notice that there are things that can’t be distributed in your last will and testament, such as life insurance and shared and living will assets.

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7. Ask witnesses to finalize the document. As per Vermont Statutes, for a last will to be considered legitimate, it has to be signed by two witnesses. You may appoint someone as a witness provided that they are over the age of 18 years and are disinterested in the heritage. As a possible additional precaution against cases when the will is contested or any other problems, it’s a wise decision to assign a witness who’s younger than you to make sure they will still be there after you depart this world. Now, you (as well as your two witnesses) must sign the paper after filling out your full legal addresses and names. Do not forget to examine each section thoroughly before concluding the matter.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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

A power of attorney is a legal document that names a person, referred to as your agent or proxy (doesn’t need to be an attorney), to handle important things for you while you are alive.

Among numerous power of attorney types, the two following ones are viewed as primary:

  • General power of attorney – permits you to appoint a proxy (agent) who’ll be able to manage your monetary and legal matters instead of you. Although, this document will become invalid if the PoA author passes away or becomes incapacitated.
  • Durable power of attorney – grants the same rights to the proxy as the prior type but stays valid even when the person on behalf of whom the agent acts becomes incapacitated.

An executor is a person you rely on and designate to ensure the last will’s instructions are carried out. Nevertheless, these two positions can be served by the same person.

Should I notarize my last will in Vermont for it to be effective?

Vermont statute says that a last will is valid without having a notary public certify it. Having said that, you’ll need a notary public if you wish to make your will self-proving by attaching an affidavit to the document. A self-proving will makes the validation process faster since the court can accept it without speaking to the witnesses who are involved.

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

Should you choose an attested or holographic will?

If you need to create a holographic last will, you must do it by hand and have it witnessed according to the state. Yet, these wills are typically viewed as a temporary alternative. You would like to replace this kind of will by creating an attested one when you can using an attorney’s support or a fillable template. It is not advised to hold a holographic last will as the final version because it could include ambiguous or conflicting terms, creating a great delay in the probate.

An attested last will is a typewritten document that’s generally based on a fillable template available online or created through a law firm. You would need to have two witnesses (18 years or older) sign the will in your presence for it to be regarded as valid. In certain states, you’d have to notarize the document as well, but in Vermont, there’s no such prerequisite.

Exactly what does it imply to be testamentary capable?

The testator has to meet testamentary capacity requirements to be able to write and modify their last will, which includes being of sound mind.

You could be deemed as lacking testamentary capacity in case you’re underage or have dementia, senility, insanity, or a similar psychiatric disorder that doesn’t allow you to have an understanding of your property’s value, beneficiaries, disposal, as well as the interrelationship of those elements.

Does a last will require a self-proving affidavit in Vermont?

No, in Vermont, there is no such requirement. However, including one may be quite useful given that it removes the demand for witnesses testimony in the course of probate, which facilitates the procedure considerably.

Is child or spouse disinheritance allowed?

Vermont is not a community property state. Often called marital property, that is a form of asset ownership provided by the law that says that 50 % of all assets (including arrears) of one spouse belongs to another and stays such upon divorce. Vermont law determines that you can cut your spouse out of your last will entirely, but some minimum amount of your estate can still be owned by them.

The divorce rate in the state of Vermont is one of the lowest in the country. As per 2018 study, it is 6.3 per 1,000 women over 15 years old, in comparison to the average US rate of 7.7.

For other members of your family, it’s possible to legally disinherit anybody else. It refers to your adult children and other relatives; simply include disinheritance paragraphs to your last will.

Is it possible to amend my last will without my assent?

No, nobody but you is allowed to change your last will. There’s just one situation when a 3rd party is permitted to get involved. In case you are physically unable to sign your last will, a 3rd party can do it instead of you yet only with you present.

Can I modify a typewritten last will and testament after signing it (in Vermont)?

Yes, it is possible.

In Vermont, if you have not engaged in an agreement stating the opposite, it is possible to revoke or alter your last will at any time.

It can be a good idea to modify your will when an important event comes about in your life. These include but are not limited to:

  • Birth or adoption of a child
  • You got divorced or married
  • You purchased or sold real estate or a major piece of property
  • Considerable changes in your finances

What are the consequences of losing a last will?

In Vermont, the law implies that the court will recognize a last will and testament in case it’s damaged or lost. However, the probate court is not likely to accept anything except for the initial version of the last will to probate.

In line with Vermont law, the will’s absence can be regarded as its revocation. That implies that the trustee should prove the last will’s credibility, which in turn might prove to be rather difficult.

For holographic last wills, the process may be much more problematic because sworn witnesses and testimony are demanded. The reason behind not providing the last will and testament and its elements must be demonstrated too.

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

Only per your directive and with you present can someone sign your will (See Vermont Estate Code). The testator can express their wishes in words, by way of giving a positive answer to an inquiry, or using body language.

A notary is allowed to sign the testator’s name if the testator isn’t able to do it due to a physical impairment. The notary has to be directed to perform so with a witness present. This witness is chosen the same way someone could choose an executor – they must not have any legal or equitable interest in any property and assets that are the issue matter of or influenced by the will.

Related documents Times when you might want to create one
Codicil There are some small adjustments you wish to make to your last will.
Self-proving affidavit You wish to facilitate the probate in the future.
Living will You want to state your wishes concerning the end-of-life health care and life-prolonging procedures.
Living trust You want to look at an alternative to a last will.
Published: Sep 18, 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.