Alexandria, VA Estate Planning Blog

Thursday, March 29, 2012

What is a Will?



Will: What is a wIll?


A will is document by which a person directs his or her probate estate to be distributed upon death. Will governs probate assets. Will doesn’t direct your non-probate assets. Will probate assets are those assets that pass by beneficiary or operation of law upon death. 


Will: Execution

Will must comply with certain rules regarding execution for every jurisdiction it must be probated in. A non-holographic will must be signed, witnessed & notarized in accordance with the applicable jurisdictional law. Will must be probated in the jurisdiction where the decedent died for personal property and probated in the jurisdiction where the decedent owned real property (situs or located physically). If the decedent owns a business entity that owns real property, than the Will should govern that asset because under Will law the decedent owns the business entity not the land.


Will: Costs

Will costs and Fees very. However, we have a current spring promotion indicating flat fee fixed prices. Click below for more information. 




Virginia code Section 64.1-45 "Will" construed

Except when it would be inconsistent with the manifest intent of the legislature, the word "will" shall extend to a testament, and to a codicil, and to an appointment by will, or by writing in the nature of a will, in exercise of a power; and also to any other testamentary disposition.


Virginia code Section 64.1-46 Who may make a will; what estate may be disposed of

Every person not prohibited by §64.1-47 may, by will, dispose of any estate to which he shall be entitled, at his death, and which, if not so disposed of, would devolve upon his heirs, personal representative or next of kin. The power hereby given shall extend to any estate, right or interest to which the testator may be entitled at his death, notwithstanding he may become so entitled subsequently to the execution of the will.


Virginia Code Section 64.1-49 Will must be in writing, etc.; mode of execution; witnesses, and proof of handwriting

No will shall be valid unless it be in writing and signed by the testator, or by some other person in his presence and by his direction, in such manner as to make it manifest that the name is intended as a signature; and moreover, unless it be wholly in the handwriting of the testator, the signature shall be made or the will acknowledged by him in the presence of at least two competent witnesses, present at the same time; and such witnesses shall subscribe the will in the presence of the testator, but no form of attestation shall be necessary. If the will be wholly in the handwriting of the testator that fact shall be proved by at least two disinterested witnesses.






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