eForms Logo

Last Will and Testament (Will)

A last will and testament or will is a legal document outlining how an individual (testator) wants to transfer their assets after death. It also appoints who will manage the estate during the probate process (personal representative) and guardians for minor children and pets.
4.7 Stars | 7,961 Ratings
Downloads: 85,313
In a 2021 survey, 54% of adults said they didn’t have a will.[1]

By State

How to Make a Will (5 steps)

1. Identifying the Testator

testator writing down list of assets

To identify the testator, or the person creating the will, the following should be entered:

  • Full name and address;
  • Marital status; and
  • Children’s names and their dates of birth.

2. Appointing Individuals

testator reviewing list of assets with executor

The testator should nominate and appoint the following 4 positions:


1. Personal Representative (executor) – Handles and transfers the estate’s assets to the beneficiaries. Their position is appointed immediately after the principal’s death.


2. Digital Executor – Commonly the same person as the personal representative, is designated with managing the testator’s digital profiles (e.g., bank accounts, social media, etc.)


3. Guardian for Minor Children – If the testator is the parent of minor children or caregiver of grandchildren, a guardian can be appointed to provide care until they reach 18 years of age.


4. Guardian for Pets – If the testator has pets, a pet guardian can be appointed to provide care for the remainder of their lives.


3. Decide ‘Who Gets What’

testator in conversation with beneficiaries

Decide ‘who will get what’ regarding the testator’s assets (also known as the beneficiaries). Anyone receiving a portion of the estate should be informed to avoid future disagreements.

4. Signing Requirements

testator signing will in front of witnesses and notary official

In 49 States, a will can be signed by two disinterested witnesses (Louisiana requires a notary public). However, it is recommended a will be notarized to have a 3rd party acknowledge that the testator was competent when signing the document.

Self-Proving Affidavit – Use if the testator elects to have their will notarized. It should be attached to the will after authorization.

5. Making Copies

testator reviewing will

A will is meant to be kept in a safe place with original copies provided to the beneficiaries and a family attorney. At the option of the testator, they may register the will with the probate court in their county (if applicable).

Signing Requirements: By State

State Signing Requirements
 Alabama  § 43-8-131
Two Witnesses
 Alaska  AS 13.12.502
Two Witnesses
 Arizona  § 14-2502
Two Witnesses
 Arkansas  § 28-25-102
Two Witnesses
 California  6110
Two Witnesses
 Colorado  § 15-11-502
Two Witnesses or Notary Public
 Connecticut  Section 45a-251
Two Witnesses
 Delaware  DE Title 12, Chapter 2 § 201 & 202
Two Witnesses
 Florida  FL Section 732.502
Two Witnesses
 Georgia  GA Section 53-4-20
Two Witnesses
 Hawaii  HI Section 560:2-502
Two Witnesses
 Idaho  ID Section 15-2-502
Two Witnesses
 Illinois  Section 755 ILCS 5/4-3
Two Witnesses
 Indiana  IC 29-1-5-3
Two Witnesses
 Iowa  Section 633.279
Two Witnesses
 Kansas  Section 59-606
Two Witnesses
 Kentucky  Section 394.040
Two Witnesses
 Louisiana  Art. 1577
Two Witnesses and a Notary Public
 Maine  Section 2-503
Two Witnesses
 Maryland  Section 4-102
Two Witnesses
 Massachusetts  Section 2-502
Two Witnesses
 Michigan  Section 700-2502
Two Witnesses
 Minnesota  Section 524.2-502
Two Witnesses
 Mississippi  Section 91-5-1
Two Witnesses
 Missouri  Section 474.320
Two Witnesses
 Montana  Section 72-2-522
Two Witnesses
 Nebraska  Section 30-2327
Two Witnesses
 Nevada  NRS 133.040
Two Witnesses
 New Hampshire  Chapter 551
Two Witnesses
 New Jersey  Section 3B:3-2
Two Witnesses
 New Mexico  Section 45-2-502
Two Witnesses
 New York  Section 3-1.1
Two Witnesses
 North Carolina  G.S. 31-3.3
Two Witnesses
 North Dakota  30.1-08-02. (2-502)
Two Witnesses
 Ohio  ORC 2107.03
Two Witnesses
 Oklahoma  84 OK Stat § 84-55
Two Witnesses
 Oregon  ORS 112.235
Two Witnesses
 Pennsylvania  Title 20 § 2502
Two Witnesses
 Rhode Island  Section 33-5-5
Two Witnesses
 South Carolina  Section 62-2-502
Two Witnesses
 South Dakota  Section 29A-2-502
Two Witnesses
 Tennessee  Section 32-1-104
Two Witnesses
 Texas  Sec. 251.051
Two Witnesses
 Utah  75-2-502
Two Witnesses
 Vermont  14 V.S.A. § 5
Two Witnesses
 Virginia  § 64.2-403
Two Witnesses
 Washington  CW 11.12.020
Two Witnesses
 Washington D.C. § 18-103
Two Witnesses
 West Virginia  Section 41-1-3
Two Witnesses
 Wisconsin  Section 853.03
Two Witnesses
 Wyoming Section 2-6-112
Two Witnesses

Sample

Video