Free Virginia Last Will and Testament Form

A last will is a crucial and legal instrument that represents the final wishes of a testator regarding their private property and assets and the way they’d wish them to be distributed to selected heirs.

Writing a last will and testament can be a prudent option for anybody who would like to steer clear of disagreements and misunderstandings. A thought-out and appropriately written will can be vital to the ones you love and relations upon your passing even when you do not have lots of assets.

On this page, you can download a free Virginia last will and testament form that you can fill in and print out. Also, below, you can find lots of information related to the will preparation process and common questions.


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Virginia Last Will Laws and Requirements

Requirements State laws
Statutes Title 64.2 – Wills, Trusts, and Fiduciaries; Chapter 4 – Wills
Signing requirement Two witnesses § 64.2-403. Execution of wills; requirements
Age of testator 18 or older or an emancipated minor § 64.2-401. Who may make a will; what estate may be disposed of
Age of witnesses 18 or older § 64.2-403. Execution of wills; requirements
Self-proving wills Allowed § 64.2-452. How will may be made self-proved; affidavits of witnesses
Handwritten wills Recognized if meeting certain conditions   § 64.2-403. Execution of wills; requirements
Oral wills Not recognized
Holographic wills Recognized if meeting certain conditions
Depositing a will Possible with the clerk of the Virginia county circuit court  A fee is $30 § 64.2-409. Wills of living persons lodged for safekeeping with clerks of certain courts

How to Make a Virginia Last Will

  1. Consider your possible choices. Prior to beginning, you may want to decide if you’d like to use the services of a lawyer or write the entire document by yourself. In the event that you would like to prepare the will on your own, pick the type you will use: a handwritten will or maybe a free last will and testament form.
  2. Indicate your details. The first step is establishing the testator by entering their full name, as well as the residential info (city, county, and state). Go over the remaining part of the passage, including the information you’ve written along with the “Expenses and Taxes” subsection.
    Details indication section of Virginia last will template
  3. Indicate the executor (or executrix). The next step is to select the executor of your last will, the person responsible for ensuring all you lay out in this document is made a reality. To do this, you need to indicate the executor’s full name, as well as their residential specifics (city, county, and state). Ensure that you choose a person who resides in the same state as you do. If you don’t, there’ll be much more red tape and unnecessary hassle identified with the procedure as a consequence of various special rules every state has relating to out-of-state executors. As a safeguard, you may appoint an alternative executor of the last will and testament. That way, you will be able to make sure that even when the first appointed executor is unable to carry out their duties, there’s another trusted person you can count on.
    Executor choosing section of document of last will for Virginia
  4. Establish the guardian (optional). You can choose a trusted person as a guardian in case you have minor or dependent children that must be taken care of. If there are no instructions concerning what person should take care of your children, the guardian will be chosen by the court.
    Guardian appointment section of Virginia will and testament
  5. Specify your beneficiaries. At this point, establish individuals to whom you wish to pass your assets down, that is, your beneficiaries. Enter their full names, places of residence, and your connection to them (e.g., spouse, child, friend).
  6. Designate possessions. It’s possible to indicate which of your inheritors receives this or that piece of property. If you don’t, the assets are going to be divided equally among the inheritors. Cash, stocks, real estate, company ownership, money for outstanding arrears, and any physical items of financial value you own can be brought up in your last will and testament. Nevertheless, joint and living will property, along with your life insurance, can’t be put into your last will and testament.
    Beneficiaries specification and assets allocation part of last will for Virginia
  7. Proceed with the witnesses putting the signatures at the end of the document. Virginia Code stipulates that no less than two witnesses must sign a will for it to be regarded as valid. Only somebody who isn’t your beneficiary and is of 18 years or more could be picked as a witness. Think about picking witnesses who are younger than you to ensure that they’ll be around in the event the will is contested in the court or if any other problem occurs. After a thorough review of every section in your last will and testament, all signatories (you and your two witnesses) will have to write their names and full addresses and sign the document.
    Witnesses signing section of a Virginia last will form

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Frequently Asked Questions

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

The primary difference between these two documents is that as soon as you die, the agent you appoint via power of attorney loses their legal authority to handle any matters instead of you.

There are two primary ones on the list of power of attorney varieties:

  • General power of attorney – permits you to appoint a proxy (agent) who’ll be able to manage your monetary and legal matters in your stead. However, this document becomes annulled if the principal passes away or becomes incapacitated.
  • Durable power of attorney – grants the same authority to the proxy as the prior type but will stay effective even if the person on behalf of whom the agent acts becomes incapacitated.

An executor is someone you establish in the last will and testament to take care of your matters once you depart this life. One person can be both your will’s executor and power of attorney proxy.

Is a Virginia will form valid without a notary certification?

Virginia law says that a last will is valid without having a notary public certify it. However, in case you want to attach a self-proving affidavit to your will, you will need to notarize it. Making your will self-proving is actually a great option since it speeds up the probate and gives another layer of certainty if your will’s credibility is doubted.

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

What is better: an attested or holographic will?

A holographic last will is handwritten. To be effective, the document has to be wholly in the handwriting of the testator and dated and signed by him or her. But, these last wills are typically thought of as a short-term alternative. You would like to substitute this kind of will by creating an attested one when you can by getting a lawyer’s support or a fillable template. A properly detailed will can be far better for the future probate process since holographic last wills might contain unclear conditions that can hinder the probate and make it more costly and/or harder to put in force.

An attested last will is generally typewritten because it is commonly made by an attorney or is based upon a last will template, like the one you can get here. You would need to have two witnesses (18 years or older) sign the last will and testament in your presence for it to be regarded as valid. In some states, you would have to notarize the document as well, but in Virginia, it’s not mandatory.

Exactly what does it mean to be testamentary capable?

The testator has to fulfill testamentary capacity prerequisites in order to write and change their last will, which includes being of sound mind. There are usually two requirements to fulfill: age and soundness of mind. In the majority of states, you must be over 18 years old in order to create a will. Soundness of mind implies that you’re conscious of your property and the beneficiaries of your assets and understand the aftereffects of your doings fully.

Does a will require a self-proving affidavit in Virginia?

No, in Virginia, there isn’t such a requirement. Still, attaching one could be rather beneficial because it removes the demand for witnesses testimony during probate, which eases the procedure significantly.

Is it allowed to disinherit your child or spouse?

In Virginia, there’s no such term as community or marital property. Thus, it is not required that all belongings gathered or improved in the marriage have to be equally devolved to each of the spouses.

In Virginia, you’ll be able to disinherit your marriage partner, yet the latter will have the right to own some minimum number of your possessions.

In the state of Virginia, as per 2018 study, the divorce rate is 8.1 per 1,000 women over 15 years old, which is close to the average US rate in the same period.

Besides your spouse, Virginia law permits you to disinherit any other member of the family. With the addition of particular disinheritance paragraphs to your last will and testament, you can cut off your children (those of 18 years and above) or other family members from receiving any of the possessions.

Is someone allowed to modify my last will and testament?

No, the will can be changed only by a testator. Another person can only sign the will when you’re physically incapable of doing it.

Am I allowed to adjust a typewritten last will and testament after I sign it (in Virginia)?

Yes, you can do that. In Virginia, in case you have not signed a contract that indicates otherwise, you are allowed to annul or adjust your last will and testament at any moment.

Also, it is a good idea to review your last will as you go through a significant life event, including:

  • Birth or adoption of a child
  • Divorce or marriage
  • Buying or selling real estate
  • Significant changes in your finances

What are the consequences of losing a will?

Virginia law states that a will can be accepted in case it is lost or destroyed. Although, just the original of the last will may be admitted by the probate court.

Virginia law gives an assumption that the will’s absence implies it was repealed. That places the responsibility on the proponent of the will to present proof of the stated will.

For holographic last wills, the process can become far more difficult as sworn witnesses and testimony will be required. The reason for not producing the last will and its details is to be explained too.

If I am physically unable to sign my last will, what do I have to do?

In accordance with Virginia Estate Code, it’s possible for an individual to sign his or her last will and testament provided that it is your (as a testator) instruction and with you present. You can give a special instruction in several ways that include oral communication, a positive response to a query, or gestures.

A notary is allowed to sign the testator’s name if the latter isn’t able to do it due to a physical disability. The notary must be instructed to perform so in the presence of a witness. It is worth mentioning that these witnesses are not allowed to have an interest (equitable or legal) in any properties and assets being the focus or impacted by this document (the will).

Related documents Cases when you may need to create one
Codicil There are some slight modifications you’d like to make to your will.
Self-proving affidavit You would like to avoid possible difficulties in the probate court.
Living will You would like to declare your wishes about the end-of-life medical treatment and life-prolonging procedures.
Living trust You want to consider an alternative to a 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.