Rhode Island Last Will and Testament Template

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A Rhode Island Last Will and Testament is a legal estate-planning document, set forth by a testator (the individual creating their will), that ensures personal and real property, fiduciary assets and/or any cash-on-hand, digital property, along with any other property or form of assets are adequately transferred upon the testator’s death. On their will, a testator can set instructions on how to distribute their estate among spouses, family, friends, and even charitable organizations. Rhode Island law dictates wills must be signed by the testator in the presence of at least two (2) competent and credible witnesses; both of whom will sign the document as well. Though optional, a testator can have their will acknowledged by an authorized notary public for an extra layer of legal protection. This document may be revoked or changed at the discretion of the testator.

Table of Contents

Laws

Definition – (Section 33-5-1(3)) – “Will” shall extend to a testament and to a codicil and to an appointment by will, or by writing in the nature of a will, in exercise of a power.

Signing Requirements (Section 33-5-5) – Must be acknowledged by the testator in the presence of two (2) or more witnesses at the same time, and the witnesses shall attest and subscribe the will in the presence of the testator.

Statutes – Title 33 (Probate Practice and Procedure)

How to Write

Step 1 – One may establish ownership of this document by simply placing the testator’s name in the first line on the document, followed by:

  • Testator’s name
  • City
  • County
  • Review of the remainder of the section
  • Reading of  the “Expenses and Taxes” section

Step 2 – Appointment an Executor –

  • Testator may provide the name of their chosen executor
  • Their City
  • Their County
  • State of executor’s residence

Choice of an alternate representative will ensure that there will always be a trusted representative to execute the estate in the manor in which the testator has set fourth in writing, in the event that the initially selected executor is, at any time, found to be unable to perform the estate’s distribution- Provide the following information:

  • The name of the secons selected representative
  • City
  • County
  • The second Executor’s State of residence

Step 3 – Disposition of Property to Beneficiaries:

Beneficiaries  – The following information is required:

  • The name of each beneficiary
  • Enter a current address for each beneficiary
  • State the beneficiary’s relationship to the testator
  • Procure and provide the last four digits of the Social Security Number for named beneficiaries
  • Enter the description(s) of any property that the testator chooses to gift to their beneficiaries

Step 4 – Review the titled sections:

  • Omission
  • Bond
  • Discretionary Powers of Personal Representative
  • Contesting Beneficiary
  • Guardian Ad Litem  Not Required
  • Gender
  • Assignment
  • Governing Law
  • Binding Arrangement

Step 5 – Signatures/Witnesses – All persons who shall serve as signatories, will need to be present at the signing of the document. Enter the following information:

  • Testator’s name
  • Date the testator’s signature – dd/mm/yyyy
  • Signature of testator
  • Print testator’s name

Witnesses – Witnesses must review the statement provided, then enter:

  • Date the signatures – dd/mm/yyyy
  • Name of testator

Witness 1 – 

  • Signature of witness
  • Current Address

Witness 2 –

  • Signature of witness
  • Current Address

Step 6 – Affidavit of Testament – Must be reviewed by all and the following must be entered:

  • The State
  • The County
  • Testator’s name
  • 1st Witness’ name
  • 2nd Witness’ name
  • AND
  • Testator’s signature
  • 1st Witness signature
  • 2nd Witness signature

Step 7 (Optional) – Notary Public – The remainder of the document, will be completed by the notary as required, once all signatures have been properly witnessed. 

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