Free West Virginia Last Will and Testament



What is a Last Will and Testament?

A West Virginia Last Will and Testament, if prepared and signed correctly by a person who is an adult of sound mind, is an official document that describes the way your assets or real estate will be managed and inherited after your passing. The individual who writes a will is called a testator. Once they pass away, they can also be called the decedent. The testator might also assign a guardian for their kids in the will to make sure that there's somebody who can keep an eye on the children until they become adults or until they get to a certain age.

In a West Virginia Last Will and Testament, the testator usually also appoints a personal representative-or co-personal representatives (more than one individuals acting jointly in this regard) to deal with the estate matters. A personal representative is somebody who collects the information about the decedent’s financial debt and assets, pays off any remaining debts using the assets, and helps to ensure that the decedent’s property is used as written in the Will, so this is a job with quite a bit of responsibility. The personal agent chosen is normally somebody the decedent truly is sure of to bring to completion their last will.

When one dies without having a legitimate West Virginia Last Will and Testament (which for most states means it must be correctly witnessed, not only signed), somebody will usually be selected by the court to become the personal representative and pay off the decedent’s debt, utilizing assets as needed to do so. Afterward, the residual assets will be shared amongst the decedent’s heirs in accordance with the laws of the state the will creator lived in.

In some states, if one spouse passes away leaving their partner, that surviving spouse will acquire most of the decedent’s assets in the absence of a Last Will and Testament containing the contrary. Additionally, the decedent might have predetermined a particular beneficiary to acquire a life insurance policy, retirement account, or some other asset, and that inheritor designation will establish who gets those assets without a Last Will and Testament.

The thing to know is that anyone who desires to designate the way their belongings will be handled after their death should write and properly execute a Last Will to make certain their wishes are known and fulfilled. Without having a will, you will be leaving it up to chance, the laws of the state, or a lawcourt in respect of just how your last affairs will be wrapped up.

Making a West Virginia Last Will and Testament

The Last Wills and Testaments in West Virginia are used by those testators who want to be assured their wishes in terms of the estate's assets will be satisfied after their demise. Creating such a document will help you to determine inheritors and avoid possible misunderstandings.

Please, note that the Living Will is a whole different paper. The purpose of the Living Will is to provide hospitals and physicians with specific preferences upon medical treatment for that time when patients are no longer able to make decisions.

When to create the Last Will and Testament?

Last Will and Testaments are not legally required, but it won’t be superfluous to make them. By creating the Last Will, you can outline who you want your properties to pass to and be secured. It will be just as you wanted during your life.

West Virginia residents also can determine a legal custodian for their children under the age of 18, make a trust for any individual of their choice or a charitable donation, and even create a “pet trust” for the animal to have a trusted owner after the testator's death.

Do not include in the Last Will properties such as:

  • Property with the right of inheritance, in joint or full lease

  • Surviving spouse's electoral share

  • Manor exemption for surviving spouse

  • Release of the surviving spouse's property

Last Will and Testament are legal forms, so before the executor (a court representative who will be monitoring the whole process) can finish all the required proceedings, those papers need to be proven by the local probate court first.

However, West Virginia has an alternative way for smaller properties, which is applied when:

  • The trusted representative is the only beneficiary, or the inheritors affirm that there is no likelihood of disputes arising and the holdings will cover debts and taxes, and the testator agrees;

  • The property is valued at $100,000 and does not include real estate.

What if there’s no Last Will and Testament?

There is a title for people who passed away without any Will — “intestate.” Their living spouse has the right to get all the estate’s assets, even if the decedent and surviving spouse have descendants. But, if the descendant is from another deceased person’s relationship, then the living spouse inherits 3/5 of the funds, and the descendant gets the rest. And if he or she is from a spouse's previous relationship, then both the living spouse and descendant will share the equal parts of inheritance.

In case there are no descendants or a living spouse, other family members will be able to have the decedent’s estate pieces, and inheritance is spread according to the level of their relationship.

Last Will and Testament in West Virginia

To draw up a Last Will and Testament in West Virginia correctly, the testator should:

  • Be at the age of 18 or older, sane, and clear-headed

  • Sign the document themself or by an authorized person in the testator’s presence, according to direct instructions

  • At least two other individuals (other than beneficiaries) need to sign the Will at the same time, also in the testator’s presence

  • A Last Will should be fully written by hand

  • The testator can choose the beneficiary themself

The Last Will and Testament in West Virginia can be changed at any moment. It can be done by the relevant addendum, which should be implemented the same as the Will.

Last Will and Testament cancellation

The Last Will can be revoked by creating another Last Will, writing an official cancellation document, and its physical destruction (in whole or fragmentary).

To make a complete Last Will and Testament, please, use our official West Virginia Last Will website template.

Last Will Forms for Neighboring States