Will Requirements by State

The laws pertaining to what is necessary for will documents to be valid vary from state to state. As such, it is important that your will is drafted based on the laws of your state so that your assets will be distributed according to your wishes after death. Below are the state-by-state requirements for creating a valid will.

 

Code Section

Minimum Age to Make a Will Witnesses

Accepts Holographic (Handwritten) Wills?

Alabama

Alabama Code Title 43

18 Signed by testator in presence of 2 witnesses N

Alaska

13.12.501, et seq. 18 Signed by at least 2 witnesses within a reasonable time after witnessing testator’s signing of will or the testator’s acknowledgment of signature or the will Y

(no witnesses required)

Arizona 14-2501, et seq. 18 Signed by 2 witnesses within a reasonable time after witnessing testator’s acknowledgment of signature or of will

Y

(no witnesses required)

Arkansas

28-25-101, et seq. 18 Signed by testator in presence of 2 witnesses Y

(need 3 credible disinterested witnesses to handwriting)

California

Prob. §§6100, et seq. 18 Signed by testator in presence of at least 2 witnesses who witness the signing of will or the testator’s acknowledgment

Y

(no witnesses required)

Colorado 15-11-501, et seq. 18 Signed by at least 2 witnesses within a reasonable time after witnessing either the signing or testator’s acknowledgment of signature or of will

Y

(no witnesses required)

Connecticut

Conn. Gen. Statutes Chapter 802a 18 Signed by testator in presence of 2 witnesses N

Delaware

Tit. 12 §201, et seq. 18 Attested and subscribed in testator’s presence by 2 or more witnesses N

District of Columbia

18-102, et seq. 18 Attested and subscribed in testator’s presence by 2 witnesses

Y

(requires 2 witnesses)

Florida §§732.501, et seq. 18 Signed by testator in presence of 2 witnesses

N

Georgia §§53-4-10, et seq. 14 Attested and subscribed in testator’s presence by 2 or more witnesses

N

Hawaii

Hawaii Revised Statutes 560-1, et seq. 18 Signed by 2 witnesses within a reasonable time after witnessing testator’s signing of will or testator’s acknowledgment of that signature Y

(no witnesses required)

Idaho

§§15-2-501, et seq. 18 Signed by 2 witnesses who witness the signing of the will or the testator’s acknowledgement of that signature or will

Y

(no witnesses required)

Illinois 755 ILCS 5/4-1, et seq. 18 Attested in presence of testator by 2 or more witnesses

N

Indiana §§29-1-5-1, et seq. 18 Signed and acknowledged in presence of two or more witnesses

N

Iowa

§§633.264, et seq. At least 18 or married Witnessed by 2 witnesses who must sign in presence of testator and each other N

Kansas

Kansas Statutes Chapter 59 At least 18 or married Witnessed by 2 or more witnesses who witnessed the testator sign the will or heard him acknowledge the will

N

Kentucky Kentucky Revised Statutes Chapter 394 18 Signed by testator and acknowledged in the presence of at least 2 witnesses

Y

(no witnesses required)

Louisiana

Louisiana Civil Code 1570, et seq. 16 Signed by 2 or more witnesses and by a notary Y

(no witnesses required but must be signed and dated)

Maine

Tit. 18-A §§2-501, et seq. 18 Signed by at least 2 witnesses who witnessed either the signing or testator’s acknowledgment of signature or of will

Y

(no witnesses required)

Maryland Estates & Trusts §§4-101, et seq. 18 Attested and signed in the presence of testator by 2 or more witnesses

Y, if made outside U.S. by person serving in U.S. armed forces (no witnesses required) but is void one year after testator’s discharge

Massachusetts

Mass. Gen. Laws Chapters 190B and 191 18 Signed by 2 or more witnesses who witnessed the signing or testator’s acknowledgment or signature or of will N
Michigan MCL §§700.2501, et seq. 18 Signed by 2 or more witnesses who witnessed either the signing or testator’s acknowledgment of signature or of will

Y

(no witnesses required)

Minnesota

MN Statutes §§524, et seq. 18 Signed by 2 or more witnesses within a reasonable time after witnessing either the signing or testator’s acknowledgment of signature or of will N

Mississippi

Miss. Code Title 91: Trusts & Estates, Chapter 5 18 Signed by testator and witnessed by 2 or more witnesses who attest to the will in the testator’s presence Y, if it is wholly written, signed and dated by testator

Missouri

474.310, et seq. 18 Attested by 2 or more witnesses subscribing their names to the will in presence of testator N
Montana 72-2-521, et seq. 18 Signed by 2 witnesses within a reasonable time after witnessing the testator’s signature or acknowledgment of will

Y

(no witnesses required)

Nebraska

§§30-2326, et seq. 19 Signed by 2 or more witnesses who either witnessed the signing or testator’s acknowledgment of signature or of will

Y

(no witnesses required)

Nevada

Nevada Revised Statutes Chapter 133 18 Signed by 2 or more witnesses in the presence of the testator Y

(no witnesses required)

New Hampshire

551:1, et seq. At least 18 or married Attested and subscribed in testator’s presence and at the request of testator by two or more witnesses

N

New Jersey 3B:3-1, et. seq. 18 Signed by at least 2 witnesses who witnessed the signing or testator’s acknowledgment of the signature or of the will

Y

(no witnesses required)

New Mexico

New Mexico Statutes 45-2-501, et seq. 18 Signed by at least 2 or more witnesses who sign in presence of testator and each other N

New York

Estates, Powers & Trusts, §§3-1.1, et seq. 18 Signed by testator and acknowledged in presence of 2 attesting witnesses

Y, but only if made by members of armed services during an armed conflict

(no witnesses required)

North Carolina §31-1, et seq. 18 Attested by 2 or more witnesses who sign will in presence of testator

Y, if written entirely in testator’s handwriting, subscribed by testator, and found among testator’s valuable papers or in safe deposit box or other safe place or with some person under authority for safe keeping

(no witnesses required)

North Dakota

30.1-08-01, et seq. 18 Signed by at least 2 witnesses within a reasonable time after witnessing either the signing of the will or the testator’s acknowledgment of signature or of will Y

(no witnesses required)

Ohio 2107.02, et seq. 18 Attested and subscribed in presence of testator by at least 2 witnesses who witnessed the testator subscribe or heard him acknowledge his signature

Y

(must be attested and subscribed in presence of testator by 2 or more witnesses)

Oklahoma

84 §41, et seq. 18 Attested by 2 witnesses who signed in the presence of testator at the end of the will Y

(no witnesses required)

Oregon

Oregon Revised Statutes Chapter 1112 At least 18 or married Signed by at least 2 witnesses who witnessed the testator sign the will or heard the testator acknowledge his signature on the will

N

Pennsylvania Tit. 20 §2501, et seq. 18 Signed by 2 witnesses in the presence of the testator

N

Rhode Island

33-5-2, et seq. 18 Signed and acknowledged by testator before 2 or more witnesses, who also must attest and subscribe will in presence of testator N, unless testator is soldier or airman in actual military service
South Carolina South Carolina Code of Laws 62-2-501 18 Signed by 2 or more witnesses who witnessed either the signing of the will or the testator’s acknowledgment of signature or of will

N

South Dakota

29A-2-501, et seq. 18 Signed by 2 or more witnesses in the testator’s presence who witnessed either the signing of the will or the testator’s acknowledgment of that signature Y

(no witnesses required)

Tennessee 32-1-102, et seq. 18 Signed by 2 or more witnesses in the presence of testator and each other

Y

(but testator’s handwriting must be proved by 2 witnesses)

Texas

Probate Code §57, et seq. 18 Signed by 2 or more witnesses over age of 14 subscribing names in presence of testator Y

(no witnesses required)

Utah Utah Code 75-1-101, et seq. 18 Signed by 2 or more witnesses who sign within a reasonable time after witnessing the testator’s signing or the testator’s acknowledgment of that signature or of the will

Y

(no witnesses required)

Vermont

Tit. 14 §1, et seq. 18 Attested and subscribed by at least 2 witnesses in presence of testator and in presence of each other N
Virginia 64.1-46, et seq. 18 Subscribed by 2 or more witnesses in the presence of testator and of each other

Y

(no witnesses necessary)

Washington

11.12.010, et seq. 18 Attested and subscribed by at least 2 witnesses in the presence of the testator N
West Virginia 41-1-1 18 Signed by 2 witnesses in the presence of the testator and each other

Y

(no witnesses necessary)

Wisconsin

853.01, et seq. 18 Signed by 2 or more witnesses in the presence of the testator and each other N
Wyoming 2-6-101, et seq. 18 Signed by 2 or more witnesses who witnessed the signing of the will and who signed in the presence of the testator and of each other

Y

(no witnesses necessary)