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Washington Last Will and Testament

Washington Last Will and Testament


Jennifer Mcgee


Updated on  

November 22, 2022

8 mins


Making a Washington Last Will and Testament might have been a complicated task in the past. However, it's much easier and more flexible now with online tools. You could make an online will just through your screen and download it. However, following the state requirements is still a necessity you shouldn't overlook. That's why, before you begin your estate planning, read more about your state's rules for the last will.

Read more about what a will is and why estate planning is essential

Requirements for a Washington Last Will and Testament 

  • Written and Oral: Generally, a Washington last will and testament should be written and on paper. It cannot be audio, video, or other digital file forms. However, Washington allows oral wills in certain circumstances discussed ahead.
  • Must be at least 18 or above
  • Sound mind and memory: The testator should understand the process, nature of their property, and relationships with the beneficiaries. They must have a sound mind and memory to make a valid legal will.
  • Signed by the testator: You must sign your Washington last will and testament before your witnesses to make it legal.
  • Signed by the witnesses: You must have two disinterested witnesses for the will. They should sign it before you as well.

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

You must have at least two witnesses for your Washington last will that follow these conditions:

  1. They should be generally competent to perform the role of a witness. 
  2. The witnesses should be disinterested in the will. If you select a beneficiary as a witness, there must be at least two other disinterested witnesses for your Washington last will and testament. Interested witnesses could lose their estate portion in the will.

Washington rules for an oral will

Washington allows an oral last will in certain special circumstances. An oral will should also have at least two witnesses. Here's who can make an oral will:

  • A member of the U.S.A. armed forces, a merchant marine, or someone disposing of the property of less than $1,000
  • The will should be made during the testator's last sickness.
  • It should be submitted to the court within six months or be reduced to writing. 
  • The testator's widow, widower, and heirs should be issued a citation so that they can contest the oral will.

Washington rules for a personal representative or an executor 

You should name a trusted person as your executor for Washington last will. However, they should follow these conditions to be eligible for the role:

  1. Must be at least 18 or above
  2. They should be capable of performing the job, i.e., of a sound mind.
  3. They shouldn't have any felony convictions.
  4. An out-of-state executor needs to post bond and appoint a state resident as their agent.
Last will and Testament Washington 

Last will and Testament Notarization in Washington 

You don't need to notarize your Washington last will to make it legal. However, you should consider adding a self-proving affidavit to speed up the probate process. Here's how you can do that:

  • Find a notary public to make a legal, self-proving affidavit.
  • You and your witnesses should go to the notary and sign the affidavit, stating who you are and that you knew you were signing a will.

Last Will Revocation in Washington 

You could follow any of these steps to revoke your Washington last will and testament:

  • Destroying the previous will by tearing, burning, and shredding.
  • Asking someone else to destroy the last will in front of you and two witnesses 
  • Making a new legal will

You need to follow the same conditions for issuing a new will as you did for making a legal last will.

Last Will Amendment rules Washington.

If you need to make some simple changes to your Washington last will, you could do it with a Codicil. It allows you to amend your will and avoid revoking it.

However, you must follow the same conditions to make a legal codicil for witnesses and signing. If you want to make multiple amendments, it's better to create a new will and revoke the previous one.

Washington rules for divorce after making your last will

  • Washington 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 Washington will.

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


What happens 

Has children, no spouse 

Children inherit everything 

Has a spouse, no children, no parents, no siblings 

Spouse inherits everything 

Has a spouse and children 

Spouse inherits one-half of the separate property and the entire community property 

Children inherit the balance 

Has a spouse and parents 

Spouse inherits three-fourths of the separate property and the entire community property 

Parents inherit the balance 

Has a spouse and siblings, no parents 

Spouse inherits three-fourths of the separate property and the entire community property 

Siblings inherit the balance 

Has siblings, no parents, no spouse, no descendants 

Siblings inherit everything 

Has parents, no spouse, no descendants 

Parents inherit everything 

Last Will and Testament Washington Free Template

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

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Frequently Asked Questions

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 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 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 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.

What does a personal representative/executor do?

The executor of your will would be responsible for managing and settling your estate distribution after you pass away. It's always better to name a trusted adult as your personal representative.
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

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