What types of wills are valid in Washington?

On Behalf of | Jun 24, 2020 | Estate Planning

Washington residents like you work hard on your estate plan. You want to ensure that your loved ones do not have worries after your passing. You do not want them to deal with complex legal problems. You do not want them to fight over assets. Because of this, you take care in creating your will and do your research.

The first place to start is what types of wills are valid in the state. Every state has different laws governing the writing of wills. Today, we will look at how Washington handles these documents.

Nuncupative and holographic wills

The Washington State Legislature discusses the creation and management of wills. In it, they discuss what wills the law considers valid. For example, Washington does not recognize holographic wills, also known as handwritten wills. They do allow nuncupative wills, or oral wills. But these wills have restrictions placed on them. If you have an oral will, there is a $1,000 limit on personal property. Not only that, but it prohibits real estate designations.

Requirements for writing a will

When writing a will, you can choose to distribute your property to anyone you would like. You must be at least 18 years old for the state to recognize your will. The state must also consider you “of sound mind.” You cannot write a will under the influence of external substances. This includes prescription medications in some cases. You also cannot write a valid will in the middle of a mental health break.

Your will must have two competent witnesses. These people must subscribe their names to the will. Barring that, they must sign an affidavit in the presence of the testator. Doing so ensures that the state views your will as valid.