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Rhode Island Last Will and Testament

Rhode Island Last Will and Testament

By 

Jennifer Mcgee

·

Updated on  

November 22, 2022
·

8 mins

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There's no better way to protect your family's future than to create a legal Rhode Island last will and testament. It would help the probate court follow your decisions about who would be your children's guardian and how the family would inherit the estate. There wouldn't be any confusion or arguments about the inheritance. Creating your online last will and testament is essential as soon as possible. You cannot leave this task until the next day, thinking nothing will happen to you. Passing away without a will can be confusing and difficult for your family and loved ones.

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

Requirements for a Rhode Island Last Will and Testament 

  • Written will: A Rhode Island last will and testament must be on paper to be legal. It cannot be audio, video, or other digital file forms. 
  • Must be of at least 18 age 
  • Sound mind and memory: The testator for a Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island 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 the testator. 

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

Your witnesses for a Rhode Island last will must follow these conditions:

  • Rhode Island 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.

Rhode Island rules for a personal representative or an executor 

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

  1. A Rhode Island executor must be of at least 18 age
  2. Capable of performing the job, i.e., of a sound mind and memory. 
  3. Rhode Island allows you to choose someone out of state as your executor. They must appoint a resident as their agent.

Last will and Testament Notarization in Rhode Island 

There's no need to notarize your Rhode Island 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.

Rhode Island Last Will Revocation 

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

  • Destroy your last will by tearing, burning, obliterating, and shredding.
  • Asking someone to destroy the last will before you and two witnesses 
  • Making a new legal will that revokes any part or the entire previous will.
  • Make a legal document stating the revocation of your old will. It must fulfill the same conditions to be legal as a new will.
  • It will be revoked if you marry after making your Rhode Island will unless you specifically mention that you considered marriage while making the will.

Rhode Island Last Will Amendment Rules 

If you wish to make some minor and simple changes to your Rhode Island 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.

Rhode Island last will and testament

Rhode Island rules for divorce after making your last will

  • Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island will.

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

Case

What happens 

Has children, no spouse 

Children inherit 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 children  

The spouse can use your real estate property for life. They inherit one-half of your personal estate 


Children inherit the balance 

Has a spouse and parents 

Spouse gets upto $150,000 of your real estate property. They have the right to use the balance for life. They inherit the first $50,000 of your personal estate and one-half of the balance 


Parents inherit the balance

Last Will and Testament Rhode Island Free Template

You can quickly create a simple estate plan by downloading a Last Will and Testament Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island last will and testament.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to notarize my will?

Different states have varying requirements for Notarization. It's better to read your state rules before finalizing your last will and testament.

What would happen if someone passes away without a will?

The state's intestacy laws will be followed if someone dies without a will. The interested parties, like the spouse or children, would have to go through a probate process to get their share in the estate.

Can I write down my wishes and consider them a legal will?

Several states do not allow a self-written will unless you've followed the requirements. It would always be better to create a legal will by following all your state rules.

Do I need a lawyer to make my last will and testament?

There's generally no need to get a lawyer to make your will. You could use an online platform and easily make it within minutes. Only some special cases, like complex family relations, may require you to consult an attorney.

What would happen to my estate if I had no immediate family?

If you create a will before you pass away, your estate will go to the beneficiaries you've mentioned. However, if you die without a will, it could go to your extended family or even the state if there are no relatives.
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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