A last will is a legally binding document that expresses the testator’s final wish in the form approved by law and determines the legal distribution of the will creator’s assets subsequently after their passing.
As a preventative measure, it is strongly suggested to come up with a last will. Even if you do not have a lot of assets, will forms might help your family situation and turn out to be critical to your household after your death.
In this article, we provide you with a free downloadable West Virginia last will and testament form and the answers to a number of common doubts you may have relating to this specific document.
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|Statutes||Chapter 41 – Wills|
|Signing requirement||Two witnesses||§41-1-3. Must be in writing; witnesses|
|Age of testator||18 or older||§41-1-1. Who may make will and as to what property §41-1-2. Who may not make will|
|Age of witnesses||18 or older||§41-1-3. Must be in writing; witnesses|
|Self-proving wills||Allowed||§41-5-15. Proof of will while testator living|
|Handwritten wills||Recognized if meeting certain conditions||§41-1-3. Must be in writing; witnesses|
|Oral wills||Not recognized||§41-1-3. Must be in writing; witnesses §41-1-5. Wills of personal estate by soldiers, sailors or nonresidents|
|Holographic wills||Recognized if meeting certain conditions|
1. Consider your possible choices. Before getting started, you might want to decide if you want to use the expertise of a lawyer or do the whole thing yourself. In the event that you wish to create the last will and testament by yourself, pick the type you will go for: a handwritten will or a free West Virginia will form.
2. Indicate your details. Add your full name and address (the city, county, and state of residence) to ascertain the testator of the last will. Go through the details you entered along with the rest of the passage, including “Expenses and Taxes.”
3. Specify the executor (or executrix). Choose the executor of your property and specify their particulars: full legal name and place of residence, which will usually be in the same state the testator lives because the majority of states impose special regulations on out-of-state executors. As a precaution, you may choose a substitute executor of the will. This way, you will be able to be certain that even when the originally appointed executor can’t perform their obligations, there’s a second dependable person you can count on.
4. Indicate the guardian (optional). In case that you’ve got underage or dependent children and don’t want the court to decide on a guardian for them when you’re no longer on this Earth, it is possible to choose someone you know as a guardian for your children.
5. Establish your beneficiaries. At this stage, you specify people who are going to inherit your estate. Enter their full names, places of residence, and your relationship to them (spouse, child, friend).
6. Distribute property. If you have a property allocation on your mind that’s not proportional, you’ll be able to describe it in this part. Property may include cash, stocks, realty, company ownership, money for unpaid arrears, and any material things of monetary value in your possession. But, joint and living will property and assets, as well as your life insurance, cannot be put into your last will and testament.
7. Ask witnesses to sign the document. According to West Virginia law, for a will to be considered legally correct, it needs to be signed by two witnesses. You can appoint somebody as a witness as long as they are older than 18 years and are uninvolved in your heritage. Consider choosing witnesses younger than you to make sure that they’ll be around in case the will is contested in the court or if some other issue arises. After a careful review of each section in your last will, all signatories (you and your two witnesses) have to fill out their names and full addresses and sign the document.
We offer a multitude of key West Virginia forms to anybody seeking ease when filling out various papers.
A power of attorney (PoA) is a legal document that establishes a person, referred to as your agent or proxy (doesn’t need to be a legal professional), to undertake important things for you while you’re alive. There are two major ones amongst the power of attorney types:
An executor is a person you establish in your last will to manage your affairs after you die. It is possible to appoint one person to act as an attorney-in-fact and a will executor.
In West Virginia, you don’t have to attest your will. However, if you want to add a self-proving affidavit to the last will, you must notarize it. If you make your last will self-proving, the court will not need to contact the witnesses to determine the legality of the document, which is going to facilitate the probate.
A holographic last will is handwritten. For it to be effective, the document needs to be completely in the handwriting of the testator and dated and signed by them. Bear in mind that this kind of will is typically created when there is no other alternative and is normally substituted with a more thorough document created with the help of a fillable last will template or attorney. Holographic last wills can have unclear directions and could leave out critical provisions, so they are more challenging to impose and can delay the probate substantially. Thus, it would be a better choice to use the other solution we go over below.
An attested last will is usually typed since it is often prepared by a legal professional or is based upon a will form, such as the one you can download here. For it to be regarded as valid, it must be signed by the testator and two credible witnesses older than 18 in the testator’s presence, which can also be done in the presence of a notary public. But, the latter is not needed in West Virginia.
The testator must fulfill testamentary capacity requirements to be able to make and change their last will, which includes being of sound mind.
In the majority states, to create a last will and testament, you’ve got to be of sound mind and at least 18 years of age. “Sound mind” signifies that you don’t have any kind of mental illnesses (dementia, senility, insanity, etc.) that doesn’t allow you to have an understanding of the aftermaths of your actions.
No, in West Virginia, there’s no such prerequisite. Nonetheless, adding one could be rather beneficial because it eliminates the need for witnesses testimony at the time of probate, which speeds up the process substantially.
If you wish to disinherit your marriage partner, you will be able to do so. West Virginia is not a community property state. Sometimes called marital property, it is a kind of ownership of the assets presented by the laws that implies that 50 % of all assets (including arrears) of one spouse belongs to another and remains such upon divorce. In West Virginia, it’s possible to disinherit your marriage partner, although the latter can be admitted to some particular minimum number of your assets. Maybe, the fact that West Virginia is a common-law marriage state somewhat correlates with the following statistics.
As for the others, it is legal in West Virginia to disinherit members of your family in your last will. Your adult children or any other relatives can be legally disinherited totally in your last will. In order to do that, add certain provisions to the last will.
No, it is only you who is permitted to modify your last will and testament. A third party is only able to sign the last will and testament when you are physically unable to do it.
Yes, you’re allowed to adjust it.
Based on West Virginia law, you’re allowed to change or annul the last will in case you are not obliged by a legal agreement expressing otherwise.
It is recommended to review your last will and testament if a significant event takes place in your life. Those include but aren’t limited to:
If the will is lost or destroyed, according to West Virginia law, the court will recognize it. But, only the original of the will can be accepted by the probate court.
In line with West Virginia law, the absence of the will is assumed as its cancellation. This suggests that the executor must provide proof of the will’s legality, which might be very troublesome.
For holographic wills, the process can be far more problematic because sworn witnesses and testimony are required. The reason for not providing the last will and its contents has to be confirmed as well.
Only per your instruction and in your presence is someone allowed to sign your last will and testament (See West Virginia Estate Code). It’s possible to give a corresponding instruction via several methods, including verbal communication, a positive answer to a query, or body gestures.
It is possible to get a notary to sign the name of a testator who is physically incapable of doing it if the latter instructs the notary public in the presence of a witness. It is worth noting that such witnesses can’t have an interest (equitable or legal) in any assets that are the issue matter or might be influenced by such a document (the will).
|Related documents||When to create one|
|Codicil||You would like to slightly change your last will without creating a new document from scratch.|
|Self-proving affidavit||You want to keep from possible issues during the probate.|
|Living will||You would like to declare your wishes about the end-of-life medical treatment and life-prolonging measures.|
|Living trust||You would like to deal with your end-of-life matters without probate.|