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Virginia Last Will and Testament

Virginia Last Will and Testament


Jennifer Mcgee


Updated on  

January 25, 2023

8 mins


Estate planning is essential for everyone. Even if you don't have a large estate or several assets, you should spend some time deciding who would get what in your Virginia last will and testament. You could decide on an executor to oversee the process and ensure that your wishes are followed. That's why making your last will and testament is crucial for managing your estate. Unless you want the court or some stranger to decide what would happen to your estate, get to work and make your online last will now.

You could read more about estate planning 101 and decide how you want to manage your assets.

Requirements for your Virginia Last Will and Testament 

  • Written and Oral: The Virginia last will and testament should be on paper. It cannot be audio, video, or other digital file forms. Also, Virginia state allows written or holographic wills.
  • Must be of at least 18 age or an emancipated minor
  • Sound mind and memory: The testator for a Virginia last will must understand the process, nature of their property, and beneficiaries. They must have a sound mind and memory for the will to be valid.
  • Signed by the testator: To make it legal, you must sign your Virginia last will and testament before your two witnesses.
  • Signed by the witnesses: You must have two witnesses for the will. They should acknowledge and sign the will before the testator. 
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“Should have done this before, had made it up to be really hard in my head. This was super easy!”

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

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

  1. Should be of age 18 or above
  2. The witnesses should be of a sound mind and memory and competent to be a witness. 
  3. Virginia allows beneficiaries of the will to act as witnesses. However, such a will can be easily challenged. It's better to choose two disinterested witnesses. 
Last Will and Testament Virginia

Virginia rules for a personal representative or an executor 

Choosing an executor for your Virginia last will would ensure that your wishes are followed and that the process doesn't end up in a stranger's hands. However, the executor should follow these conditions 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. Virginia allows you to choose someone out of state as your executor if they appoint an in-state agent.

Virginia Last Will and Testament Notarization.

There's no compulsion to notarize your Virginia last will and testament. However, you should add a self-proving affidavit to the will to speed up your 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.

Last Will Revocation in Virginia 

You could follow any of these things to revoke your Virginia 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, which revokes any part or the entire previous will.

Last Will Amendment rules Virginia. 

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

Virginia rules for divorce after making your last will

  • Virginia 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 last will or remarry your ex.

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


What happens 

Has children, no spouse 

Children inherit everything 

Has a spouse, no children 

Spouse inherits everything 

Has a spouse, has children 

(Children you share with that spouse)

Spouse gets everything 

Has a spouse, has children 

(At least one child is with someone other than that spouse)

Spouse gets one-third of your estate 

Children inherit the balance 

Has parents, no children, no spouse 

Parents get everything 

Has siblings, no parents, no children, no spouse 

Siblings get everything 

Last Will and Testament Virginia Free Template

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

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can my last will and testament be oral?

Only a few states consider an oral will legal only if it follows the rules. You would have to fulfill some criteria the state sets to be eligible to make an oral will. However, you shouldn't risk this to chance and create a solid, legal will on paper.

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.

Do I need to have a certain amount of money to make a will?

No, there's no minimum limit of money you need to have to make your last will. It would dispose of any assets you leave to the beneficiaries.

How should I store my will?

You should always store your last will and testament in a safe place, one which is accessible to your loved ones and doesn't pose any risk to the documents. It can be a safe locker or a safe in your home.

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.
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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Jennifer Mcgree
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