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Delaware Last Will and Testament

Delaware Last Will and Testament

By 

Jennifer Mcgee

·

Updated on  

November 22, 2022
·

8 mins

 Read

Many people think about making their Delaware last will and testament as something that is only required long ahead in the future. While that could also work, there's no telling when something could happen that can lead to trouble for your loved ones. It's better to prepare for such uncertainties and protect your family by having everything in place. From deciding who would handle the estate affairs to the guardian of your kids, your last will is a crucial document of your life. You shouldn't waste any time creating it and deciding who would get what. It can be a simple process if you create an online last will without spending thousands of dollars. Know more about the rules before completing your last will and testament. 

If you live in Delaware, here's what you should follow.

Requirements for a Delaware Last Will and Testament 

  • Written will: A Delaware last will and testament must be on paper to be legal. It cannot be audio, video, or other digital file forms. Delaware doesn't allow Holographic wills.
  • Must be of at least 18 age 
  • Sound mind and memory: The testator for a Delaware last will must understand the will procedure, nature of their estate, and beneficiaries. For their last will to be valid, they must have a sound mind and memory.
  • Signed by the testator: To make it legal, you must sign your Delaware last will and testament before your two witnesses.
  • Signed by the witnesses: You must have at least two witnesses for the will. They should acknowledge and sign the will before you.

Who can be your witnesses for a Delaware Last Will and Testament? 

Your witnesses for a Delaware last will must follow these conditions:

  • Delaware allows anyone competent to become a witness. 
  • They should be able to testify about what they saw and the will-making process.
  • It's better not to select beneficiaries as witnesses as they could lose the estate portion or any gift you leave them.

Delaware rules for a personal representative or an executor 

Choosing an executor for your Delaware last will would be better than leaving it to uncertainty. However, an executor should follow these guidelines to be eligible for the role:

  1. Must be at least 18 or above
  2. Capable of performing the job, i.e., of a sound mind.
  3. Delaware doesn't restrict people convicted of a felony from being executors.
  4. Delaware allows you to choose someone out of state as your executor. They must appoint the Register of wills as their agent through an irrevocable power of attorney. 

Last will and Testament Notarization in Delaware 

There's no need to notarize your Delaware last will and testament. However, you should add a self-proving affidavit to the last will to speed up the probate process. Here's how you can do that:

  • Find a notary public to make a self-proving affidavit for the will. 
  • You and the witnesses must go to the notary and sign the affidavit, stating who you are and that you know you're signing a will.

Delaware Last Will Revocation 

You could follow any of the following methods to revoke your Delaware last will and testament:

  • Destroy or cancel your last will by tearing, burning, obliterating, and shredding. 
  • Asking someone else to destroy your last will
  • Making a new legal will that revokes any part or the entire previous will.
  • Creating a new document that states the revocation of your Delaware will.
Delaware last will and testament

Delaware Last Will Amendment Rules 

If you wish to make some minor and simple changes to your Delaware last will, you can do it through a Codicil. It will allow you to introduce changes to your existing will and avoid revoking it.

However, you must follow the same guidelines to make a legal codicil as for an original will. If you want to make multiple amendments, it's better to make a new will that revokes the previous one.

Delaware rules for divorce after making your last will

  • Delaware law revokes any gift you leave to your spouse.
  • Revokes any appointment of your spouse as the trustee or executor 
  • However, the provisions will stand if you state otherwise in your Delaware will.

What happens if you don't have a will in Delaware?

Case

What happens 

Has children, no spouse 

Children inherit everything 

Has a spouse, no children, no parents 

Spouse inherits everything 

Has parents, no children, no spouse 

Parents inherit everything 

Has siblings, no parents, no children, no spouse 

Siblings inherit everything 

Has a spouse and descendants (Children you share with that spouse)

Spouse gets the first $50,000 of your estate and one-half of the balance. Also, they have the right to use any real estate for life




Descendants inherit the balance

Has a spouse and parents 

Spouse gets the first $50,000 of your estate and one-half of the balance. Also, they have the right to use any real estate for life




Descendants inherit the balance

Has a spouse and children 

(Children you share with someone else)

Spouse gets one-half of the estate. Also, they have the right to use any real estate for life




Descendants inherit the balance

Last Will and Testament Delaware Free Template

You can quickly create a simple estate plan by downloading a Last Will and Testament Delaware free template. It will be the best option if you don't have a large estate or complicated finances. You could check out the template and follow the necessary requirements to make your new Delaware last will and testament. Once you go through the details and follow the required steps:

  1. Connect on TrulyWill and create your account.
  2. Discuss any issues or complications about your finances and personal relationships with our attorneys.
  3. Sign or notarize the document, depending on your state requirements. 

This template and sample last will and testament would allow you to examine what your will would look like. You can change the will template depending on your personal preferences for estate distribution. 

Some instances where it would be prudent to consult our experts before finalizing your will would be when you have a high net worth or complicated family and personal relationships. We also provide additional services for those unique requests:

  • Online expert support: You can connect with our experts online and clear your doubts.
  • Attorney support: For some specific and unique requirements, we also offer additional attorney support services for your will and trust.

If you're facing any of these issues, it's essential to consult an expert before proceeding. They could personally help you out with any doubts and create a solid and legally enforceable Delaware last will and testament. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Does my will dispose of all my assets?

A will would only dispose of the assets mentioned in it. You could decide which assets go to whom. However, it's always better to mention all your assets.

Can I leave or donate my estate to an organization or charity?

You can leave all your assets to a charity organization. The court would follow your wishes and provide the organization with everything. However, consult an attorney to avoid any problems.

Can I decide who would look after my minor children in my will?

Yes, you should name a person as the guardian of your children in your will. It would help avoid any hassles, and they could look after your kids after you pass away.

Can an executor or guardian refuse to take up the role?

Yes, your guardian or executor can refuse to take on the job. It is always better to ask the person and get their approval before mentioning them on your will.

Should I update my will?

You should regularly check and update your last will after certain life events. It can be a new marriage, a child, or a divorce. Either way, keep updating your will after some time.
Jennifer Mcgee
Parent to five young children. Expert in Estate Planning, Probate, and Family Law Matters. Volunteer with Victim’s Advocates in the local sheriff's department...
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Got Questions?

Hi, I’m Jennifer McGee.

Co-founder & Head of Legal at TrulyWill

Feel free to book a call with me to help you with your estate plan.

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