What is a Will?

A Will is a document that tells the court what you would like to do with your property when you die. You can make a valid will if you are over the age of 18 and of sound mind. Your will must be in writing. It must be signed by you. Your will must also be signed by two witnesses who watch you sign the will. You must tell them it's your will. They must verify they saw you sign.

In the will you can:

  • Distribute your property
  • Select a guardian for your minor children
  • Name an executor or personal representative to manage the probate of your will and the distribution of your property after your death

You can change your will by making a new will that replaces or revokes the old one or by making an addition to the will, called a codicil. Changes such as a marriage, divorce, birth or adoption of a child, new property ownership or moving to another state should cause you to review your will and consider whether it should be changed to fit your new situation.

What happens if I die without a Will?

Dying without a will is known as dying intestate. If you die without a will in Washington, your property is divided among members of your family according to the Washington intestacy laws.