Every resident of Virginia who is at least 18 years old is usually advised to write a last will and testament Virginia. This is because without it, the state inheritance laws determine how their assets will be shared after their demise. In other words, without a last will and testament, the individual’s assets will be at the mercy of the state. Virginia determines who takes what using a priority system.

What Is a Virginia Last Will And Testament & How Does It Work?

A Virginia last will and testament is a signed writing by a testator that dictates how their properties should be shared after they die. The laws of the state allows any of its residents who is at least 18 years old and mentally competent to write a last will. Virginia law strictly defines this last will as any codicil, testament or exercise of a power of appointment by will or by a writing in the nature of a will, or any other testamentary disposition.

Unlike a living will or power of attorney, a last will does not become effective till the testator dies. A will can also be revised at any time while the testator is still alive and mentally sound.

All the laws guiding the writing and execution of a last will and testament in Virginia are stated in Title 64.2 of the Code of Virginia.

Legal Requirements of Virginia Wills

The legal requirements to be met before Virginia wills are seen as valid can be placed into four categories namely mental capacity, age requirement, witness requirement and writing requirement

Age requirement

A resident of Virginia can create a last will once they have attained the age of 18. This is to ensure that minors are not taken advantage of.

Mental capacity

The testator must be of sound mind at the time of writing the will before a Virginia will and testament is considered legally. This is done to ensure that mentally unstable residents are not taken advantage of.

Writing requirement

According to the state’s laws, Virginia wills are not considered valid “unless it is in writing and signed by the testator, or by some person in the testator’s presence and by his direction.” Oral wills are not valid in Virginia.

Witness requirement

The testator must have at least two witnesses present when signing the will. Notarizing the will is not a requirement but is usually recommended.

The Importance of Writing a Virginia Last Will and Testament

A Virginia last will and testament is important for the following reasons:

  • It gives the testators an opportunity to share their assets on their own terms
  • The testator is also allowed to name a guardian for his or her minor children
  • Using this legal instrument, a testator can dictate when his or her minor children can begin to lay claim to their benefits and when they can no longer do.
  • It reduces the costs of administering the testator’s estate
  • It can be used to create a trust for the support and education of the testator’s children

How to Write, Change and Revoke a Last Will and Testament in Virginia?

A last will and testament template can be filled and executed in the following few steps:

  • The testators establish their ownership of the form by filling their names at the top of the last will and testament template virginia.
  • They must then appoint a suitable executor
  • The testators must list all the assets to be shared
  • The will should provide the details of all the beneficiaries and the percentages of all the listed assets allotted to them
  • The will must carry the signature of both the testators and the witnesses
  • The will can then be notarized by a commissioned notary.

One can revoke his or her will at any time deemed fit. This can be done by:

  • Cutting, burning, tearing, cancelling or destroying any part of the written will with the intent to revoke its powers
  • Ordering someone to tear, burn or destroy the will
  • Writing a new will that clearly states that it is revoking the old will

If the listed beneficiary is a spouse and both the testator and spouse are divorced or the court determines that the marriage is not legal, the law revokes any language that allocates any property to the divorced spouse or names that spouse as an executor to the will.

The only exception is when the testator writes a divorce decree that clearly states that the divorce should not affect any provision in the will.

It can be revoked by filling a codicil and executing the same way a will is done.

Drafting a will in Virginia is as easy as downloading a Virginia will template, filling it and signing it in the presence of some witnesses. You can get these templates and va eforms for free on CocoSign platform.

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