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West Virginia Last Will and Testament

West Virginia Last Will and Testament

By 

Jennifer Mcgee

·

Updated on  

January 3, 2023
·

7 mins

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Making your West Virginia last will and testament may seem like a lengthy and complicated task at first. However, it has become much easier as you can complete the work sitting in your room. Several tools and knowledge base help you know everything about what to do. You should begin your will and follow all the requirements to make it valid in your state. It would ensure that your loved ones have what they need to carry on in their life and not worry about going to courts and lawyers.

All the states have varying requirements to make a valid and enforceable online last will. If you live in West Virginia, here's what you should follow.

Requirements for a West Virginia Last Will and Testament 

  • Written will: A West Virginia last will and testament must be a hard paper copy to be legally enforceable. It can't be audio, video, or other digital file forms. West Virginia allows self-written wills.
  • Must be at least 18 
  • Sound mind and memory: The testator in a West Virginia last will must understand the will procedure, nature of their estate, and beneficiaries. For their last will to be valid, they must be of a sound mind and memory.
  • Signed by the testator: To make it valid and enforceable, you must sign your West Virginia last will and testament before two witnesses.
  • Signed by your witnesses: You must have at least two witnesses for the West Virginia last will and testament. They should sign the will before the testator. 

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

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

  • West Virginia allows anyone competent to be a witness. 
  • They must be able to testify about what they saw during the process and about the will-making.
  • It would be better not to select beneficiaries as witnesses as they could lose the estate portion or any gift you leave them.
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“Should have done this before, had made it up to be really hard in my head. This was super easy!”

West Virginia rules for a personal representative or an executor 

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

  1. West Virginia doesn't have any specific conditions that an executor should fulfill. You can choose any close and trusted person for the job.
  2. Capable of performing the job, i.e., of a sound mind and memory. 
  3. West Virginia allows you to choose someone out of state as your executor. They must post bond and appoint the county commission's clerk as the resident agent.

Last will and Testament Notarization in West Virginia 

There's no need to notarize your West Virginia 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.

West Virginia Last Will Revocation 

You could follow any of the following methods to revoke your West 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 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.

West Virginia Last Will Amendment Rules 

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

West Virginia rules for divorce after making your last will

  • West 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 West Virginia will or remarry your ex.

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

Case

What happens 

Has children, no spouse 

Children inherit everything 

Has parents, no children, no spouse 

Parents inherit everything 

Has a spouse, no children

Spouse inherits everything 

Has siblings, no parents, no children, no spouse 

Siblings inherit everything 

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

Spouse inherits everything 

Has a spouse and children (Children you share with someone else)

Spouse gets one-half of the estate 


Your children inherit the balance  

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

The spouse has children from another relationship 

Spouse gets three-fifths of the estate 



Your children inherit the balance 

Last Will and Testament West Virginia Free Template

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

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Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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 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.

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.
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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