We are often asked if a lawyer is required to make a will. While an attorney can provide you with direction, will templates, and guidance on your state laws, no lawyer or attorney is necessary or required. You simply need to follow the laws in your state for your will to be legal and binding. We will teach you how to make a will for free without a lawyer. The legal terms often used for a will is Last Will and Testament.

The method of executing (having the will signed and notarized) your Last Will and Testament is a very important step to making you will a valid document. Properly creating and signing your will reduce the probability of any future successful challenges to your Last Will and Testament.

In executing your Last Will and Testament, it is imperative that all parties to the execution of the Last Will and Testament, including the Testator, that is, the person who created the Last Will and Testament, two witnesses, and the Notary Public be in the presence of each other at all times during the signing of the Last Will and Testament. No one should leave the room while the Last Will and Testament is being executed by the Testator. And being in a room next to the room where the Last Will and Testament is being executed in unacceptable.

We recommend you sign your Last Will and Testament using a pen containing blue ink, so as to indicate that it is the Original Last Will and Testament. The Testator should review the Last Will and Testament to make sure that all the provisions are complete and acceptable to him/her. The Testator should then initial the bottom of each page where indicated, including the last page of the Last Will and Testament. The Testator should then sign the document where indicated in the presence of the Notary Public and the two witnesses.

It is important for the parties to know that a wife cannot sign as a witness on her husband's last will and testament, just as a husband cannot sign as a witness on his wife's last will and testament. In fact, no one who is a potential beneficiary (person named in the will to receive something) of the last will and testament can act as a witness to the execution of the will.

However, it is perfectly acceptable for the husband and the wife to execute their respective Last Will and Testaments in the presence of the same two witnesses and same Notary Public, who can witness and notarize both Last Will and Testaments of the Husband and Wife.

Once the Testator (creator of the will) signs the Last Will and Testament, the Testator, in the presence of the two witnesses and the Notary Public should acknowledge to them that the Testator has signed the Last Will and Testament as his/her Free Act and Deed, that he/she is competent to sign the Last Will and Testament and the Testator was under no duress, that is, pressure from anyone including a spouse, to sign their Last Will and Testament.

Once the Last Will and Testament is signed by the Testator and the witnesses, the Notary Public can execute (sign) the document where indicated and give the executed Last Will and Testament to the Testator.

The executed original last will and testament should be placed in a safe place where the spouse and the children can get to the Last Will and Testaments when needed.

To assist you in creating a last will and testament for free, here is a template of a last will and testament you can work from. This last will and testament template was created by one of the Nation's top estate planning attorneys.



I, John Doe, of City, County, State declare this to be my Last Will and Testament and revoke all my prior wills and codicils.

My Family

Section: 1.1 My Family Members
The name of my spouse is: ___________ _____________ ___________

I do have children which may be natural born, adopted and/or step children and have equal love and affection for them, regardless of their origin, and consider them our children. I wish to provide for those children listed below and am providing their names and birthdates are as follows:


Therefore, any and all references in this Agreement to children are to these children, and these children only, whom I shall refer to as my children throughout all the documentation executed on the date indicated below and no others except for those other children subsequently born to or legally adopted by me.

Distribution of My Personal Effects

Section: 2.1 Personal Memorandum
I give all of my tangible personal property including jewelry, clothing, household furniture, furnishings and fixtures, chinaware, silver, photographs, works of art, books, boats, automobiles, all artifacts relating to my hobbies, and all other articles of household or personal use, together with all policies of property and casualty insurance relating thereto, in accordance with any written, signed, and dated memorandum left by me which directs the distribution of my personal effects.

Should I leave multiple written memorandums which conflict as to the disposition of any item of my tangible personal property, that memorandum which is dated last shall control as to any items which may be in conflict.

Section: 2.2 Distribution of Personal Effects to Family
All of my tangible personal property not distributed by memorandum shall be distributed to my spouse, if my spouse survives me by thirty days.

If my spouse does not survive me, I leave all of my tangible personal property equally to my children.

My children shall divide the property among them as they shall agree.

My Executor may select the share for any child who is under any form of legal disability; my Executor shall be mindful of the desires of my child when making such selections.

If my children fail to agree as to the division of any property, within a reasonable time, my Executor may either divide the property equally among my children, transfer the property to the Trustees of the Living Trust for later distribution to my children, or sell the property and divide the proceeds equally among them.

Any decision made by my Independent Executor with respect to either the selection or sale of my property shall be final and binding on my children.

Section: 2.3 Business Property Excluded
Any of my tangible personal property that I used in a business shall not be distributed under this Article.

Section: 2.4 Cost of Delivery
The cost of delivering the personal property, or any of it, to the residence of the recipient, including the cost of packing, temporary storage or storage in transit, and insurance shall be paid from the residue of my estate and treated as an expense of administration.

Section: 2.5 No Survivors
If neither my spouse nor any of my children survives me, the personal property shall be added to the residue of my estate.

The Remainder of My Property

Section: 3.1 Pour-over to Living Trust The remainder of my property shall be distributed to the Trustee(s) of the Living Trust, and any amendments thereto, dated October 24, 2017. Hereafter I will refer to such Trust as "my Living Trust".

Section: 3.2 Alternate Disposition
If my Living Trust is not in effect at my death for any reason whatsoever, then all of my property shall be disposed of under the terms of my Living Trust as if it were in full force and effect on the date of my death.

If for any reason it is not possible for my property to be disposed of in accordance with the immediately preceding sentence, I give all of my property to my spouse, if my spouse survives me by thirty days.

If my spouse does not survive me, I give all of my property to those of my descendants, per stirpes, who survive me by thirty days.

If neither my spouse nor any of my descendants survive me by thirty days, I give all of my property to my heirs at law according to the laws of descent and distribution in the State of

Powers of My Independent Executor

Section: 4.1 General Powers
My Independent Executor shall have the power to perform all acts reasonably necessary to administer my estate, as well as any powers set forth in the statutes in the State of as relating to the powers of fiduciaries.

Section: 4.2 Specific Powers
Without in any way limiting the generality of Section 4.1 above, I give my Executor full power and authority to partition, exchange and sell real and personal property upon such terms and conditions as my Executor deems appropriate; to renew and extend debts; to borrow money; to pledge or mortgage real or personal property for whatever purposes my Executor deems proper; to vote stock, in person or by proxy, with or without powers of substitution; to exercise stock rights; to exercise stock options and to borrow money for such purposes; to sell, lease, mortgage, partition, or otherwise dispose of (except by gift) all or any part of my estate; to enter into any transaction authorized by this will with the legal representative of any other estate or with the Trustee(s) of any Trust estate, even though such legal representative or Trustee is also my Executor, including but not limited to the power and authority to sell assets of my estate at their fair market value to the Trustee(s) of my Living Trust and to borrow funds from my Living Trust; to continue the operation of any proprietorship, corporation, partnership, or any other business enterprise in which I may have an interest at the time of my death; to sell or liquidate my interest in any such business enterprise at such time and upon such terms and conditions as my Executor deems appropriate; and to carry out and enforce the provisions of any agreement providing for the disposition of all or any part of my interest in any such business enterprise. Any operation, sale or liquidation by my Executor of such business enterprise or my interest therein shall, if accomplished in good faith, be at the risk of my estate and without liability on the part of my Executor for losses resulting therefrom. My Executor may exercise its powers for any purpose and upon such terms and conditions (whether extending beyond the administration of my estate or not) as, in my Executor's judgment, are in the best interest of my estate and the beneficiaries thereof.

Section: 4.3 Partitions of Community Property
My Executor shall have the power to partition my interest in the community estate of my spouse and myself from the interest therein of my spouse, and, in making such partitions, my Executor may, with the consent of my spouse or the personal representative of my spouse's estate, allocate different kinds of property or undivided interests in property between my estate and my spouse or my spouse's estate.

Section: 4.4 Distributions
My Executor is authorized to distribute my estate in whole or in part at such time or times as it deems advisable, in cash or in kind, or partly in cash and partly in kind. My Executor may distribute my estate subject to any or all mortgages, deeds of trust, or other liens created by me or my Executor, which in its opinion need not first be paid.

Prior to the final distribution of my estate (which shall not be delayed beyond the time reasonably required for administration of my estate), my Executor may make partial distributions to one or more beneficiaries or Trusts.

Payment of Expenses and Taxes and Tax Elections

Section: 5.1 Cooperating with the Trustee(s) of My Living Trust
I direct my Independent Executor to consult with the Trustee(s) of my Living Trust to determine whether any expense or tax shall be paid from my Living Trust or from my estate.

Section: 5.2 Manner of Payment and Tax Elections
All taxes, other than any generation-skipping taxes, imposed as a result of my death which are not paid by the Trustee(s) of my Living Trust shall be paid from my estate without apportionment, and without contribution from any person. My Independent Executor, in his sole and absolute discretion, may exercise any available elections with regard to any state or federal tax laws, including but not limited to (i)the date which should be selected for the valuation of property in my gross estate for estate and inheritance tax purposes, (ii)whether a deduction shall be taken as an income tax deduction or an estate or inheritance tax deduction, and (iii)the election to extend the time for the payment of estate and inheritance taxes and the election to pay such taxes in installments. My Executor is further authorized to join with my spouse in the filing of any tax returns for any year or years for which I have not filed such return(s) prior to my death and to pay all such ratable share of any taxes (including any interest and penalties thereon) as my Executor deems proper. I further authorize and empower my Executor to consent that any gifts made by my spouse prior to my death be treated as made one-half by me for the purposes of any gift tax laws and returns.

My Executor, in his sole and absolute discretion, may elect to have all, none, or part of the property comprising my adjusted gross estate for federal estate tax purposes qualify for the federal estate tax marital deduction as qualified terminable interest property under Section 2056(b)(7) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.

My Independent Executor shall not be liable to any person for decisions made in good faith under this Section.

Appointment of Independent Executor(s)

Section: 6.1 Independent Executor(s)
I appoint the following person to be my Independent Executor:

My spouse: ______________________

If my said spouse cannot act, or is unwilling to act, I appoint the following persons to be replacement Independent Executor in the order in which their names appear:



I direct that no court shall have any jurisdiction over my estate and that no action shall be had in any court in relation to the settlement of my estate, other than the probating and recording of this will and, if required, the returning of an inventory, appraisement and list of claims.

My spouse shall receive no compensation for serving as Executor; however, any other Executor shall be entitled to receive reasonable fees commensurate with its duties and responsibilities, taking into account the value and nature of my estate and the time and work involved, without regard to the laws of any jurisdiction. No bond or other security shall be required of my Executor.

Miscellaneous Provisions

Section: 7.1 Will Not Contractual
This will is being executed on or about the same date as a similar will by my spouse. Regardless of any similarities of wills and the other circumstances of their execution, this will and my spouse's will are not contractual and either of us may change his or her respective will at any time hereafter, during or after the lifetime of the other.

Section: 7.2 Use of Words
Unless the context of this will requires another construction, the masculine, feminine and neuter genders shall include each of the others, and the singular and plural shall include the other.

Section: 7.3 Titles, Headings and Captions
The titles, headings and captions used in this will have been inserted for administrative convenience only and do not constitute matters to be construed in interpreting this will.

Section: 7.4 Saving Clause
Should any provision of this will be held invalid by final judgment in a court of competent jurisdiction, such holding shall in no manner affect any other provision.

Guardians of My Children

Section: 8.1 Minor Children If my spouse does not survive me, I appoint the following person or persons to be the guardians of the persons and estates of my minor children:

second minor guardian is __________ ________ ____________

If the guardian or guardians named above are unable or unwilling to serve, I appoint the following persons as replacement guardians in the order in which their names appear:

second minor guardian is __________ ________ ____________

I direct that no bond shall be required of any guardian named above.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have signed my name this the _____ day of ___________________, 2017, in the presence of the undersigned attesting witnesses, who have signed their names at my request.

John Doe, Testator

We, the undersigned, in the presence of John Doe, the Testator, who signed the above instrument in our presence, have subscribed our names hereto as attesting witnesses, in the Testator's presence and in the presence of each other, on this ____ day of___________________, 2017. We declare that at the time of our attestation of this Will, the Testator was, according to our best knowledge and belief, of sound mind and memory and under no undue duress or constraint.

Witness Signature

Witness Name Printed

Address: _______________________

Witness Signature

Witness Name
Printed Address: _______________________

THE STATE OF _________________

THE COUNTY OF _______________

BIG BEFORE ME, the undersigned authority, on this day personally appeared John Doe, _________________________________ and ______________________________, known to me to be the Testator and the witnesses, respectively, whose names are subscribed to the annexed or foregoing instrument in their respective capacities, and all of said persons being by me duly sworn, the said John Doe , Testator, declared to me and to the said witnesses in my presence that said instrument is the Testator's last will and testament, and that the Testator had willingly made and executed it as testator's free act and deed; and the said witnesses, each on his or her oath stated to me, in the presence and hearing of the said Testator, that the said Testator had declared to them that said instrument is the Testator's last will and testament, and that the Testator executed the same as such and wanted each of them to sign it as a witness; and upon their oaths, each witness stated further that they did sign the same as witnesses in the presence of the said Testator and at Testator's request; that the Testator was at that time eighteen years of age or over, or being under such age, was or had been lawfully married, or was then a member of the armed forces of the United States or of an auxiliary thereof or of the maritime Service, and was of sound mind; and that each of said witnesses was then at least fourteen years of age.
John Doe, Testator


_______________________________________________ Witness

SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN TO before me by the said John Doe, Testator, and by the said __________________________________ and ____________________________________, witnesses, this _____ day of ______________________, 2017.

_______________________________________________ Notary Public for the State of ____________