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Get a Delaware Will From the Comfort of Home
If you die without a last will and testament (a “will”), your assets will be divided up according to default state laws called intestacy laws. Although these laws favor surviving spouses and children, you should not rely on them if you have special wishes or circumstances. The default rules may not be ideal for you if you have a blended family, an unmarried partner, family strife, or other unique circumstances. With a personalized will, you can provide for the distribution of your assets as you see fit instead of relying on the state’s rules.
Delaware Will Options That Work for You
Last Will and Testament
For One Person
A do-it-yourself last will that’s easy to personalize.
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Estate Planning Package
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All the forms you need to create a personal estate plan.
How It Works
It only takes minutes to control your future. Need help? Contact one of our directory attorneys.
Answer Key Questions
In order to get started, you need a list of your assets, accounts, contact information of important people, and wishes for the future.
Create an Account
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We Create Your Document
We’ve done the hard part by researching and developing your state-specific form. You simply need to follow our clear process.
Sign & Make It Legal
Sign your documents according to the instructions provided. This may include signing in front of witnesses or a notary.
What’s Next To Make My Delaware Last Will and Testament Valid?
If you want a will, you can hire a lawyer or use a will form from a reliable source. If you use a form, follow these steps: See full process
Choose an executor
An executor (sometimes called a personal representative) is the person who will pay off your debts and distribute your assets according to your will’s instructions. To begin this process, your executor will submit your will to the county register of wills office after your death. The register of wills office is the local government agency that records wills and oversees the probate process in Delaware. After submitting your will to the register of wills, your executor will administer your estate according to your wishes through a court-supervised process called probate.
You should choose an executor who you know well, and who is capable of carrying out this responsibility. Many people choose a close family member like a spouse, parent, sibling, or adult child. Before naming this person, you should talk to them to make sure that they are willing and able to perform this task. It’s wise to name an alternate executor in case your first choice becomes unavailable.
List your beneficiaries
List your assets
You should create a complete list of your assets to accompany your will. This will help your executor to distribute your property more efficiently. When listing your assets, you should include all of your real property and personal property. Real property refers to real estate like homes and land. Personal property covers your other assets like cars, furniture, jewelry, heirlooms, and any other personal possessions.
List your non-probate assets
Not all of your assets can be distributed through your will. Certain types of property fall into the category of “non-probate assets.” Non-probate assets pass directly to the beneficiary or joint owner upon your death.
Examples include life insurance policies, trusts, annuities, and retirement accounts with named beneficiaries. These will go straight to your named beneficiary upon your death without needing to go through probate. If you own any property in joint ownership with a right of survivorship, this property will pass directly to your joint owners at the time of your passing. You cannot change these designations in your will. But your executor should be aware of these assets in case they need to be accounted for during the probate process. It will be helpful if you provide a comprehensive list.
List your debts
Choose guardians for minor children
If you have children who are still minors at the time you are making your will, it’s a good idea to name caretakers for them. In your will, you can name individuals to act as your children’s guardians in case you were to pass away before they become adults. Although this is unpleasant to consider, it can give you peace of mind to know that you have chosen people you know and trust to look after your children just in case something happens to you.
Sign your will in front of witnesses
Distribute and store your will
After you have properly signed your will, you need to make sure it gets into the right hands. You should give a copy to your executor and your lawyer (if you have one). This will allow them to carry out your wishes when the time comes. It may also be a good idea to keep an extra copy of your will in a safe place that a reliable loved one can access if necessary.
You May Want To Speak With a Lawyer if You:
- Have a past divorce, blended family, or other complex family situation
- Have a high-value estate
- Own a business
- Want to create a special needs trust
- Want legal review of your completed will
Ready to get started on your Delaware will? It’s free to start.Create My Will
Delaware Will FAQs
To create a valid will in the state of Delaware, you need to fulfill a few basic legal requirements:
- You must be 18 years old or older and of sound mind
- You need to sign your will or direct someone to do so on your behalf and in your presence
- There must be two competent witnesses present at the time of signing. They need to sign the will too.
Under Delaware law, any competent person can witness your will, even if they are a beneficiary to it. However, it’s better to have witnesses who are not named in your will. This helps to avoid the impression that you were pressured (or “coerced”) into signing your will. If anybody wants to challenge, or contest, your will, they could use coercion as a reason to challenge it. Using non-beneficiary witnesses is an easy way to avoid the appearance that you signed your will involuntarily.
Note that the sound mind requirement is fairly broad. Even if a testator has dementia or mental illness, they can still be capable of making a valid will. They simply must have been able to understand the nature and consequences of their will at the time of signing.
No, a last will and testament (a “will“) is the foundation of a good estate plan. You can use your will to provide for the distribution of your assets after your death and name guardians for minor children.
A living will is a legal document you use to make health care decisions in case you ever become unable to make them for yourself. You cannot use a living will to name beneficiaries or describe how you would like your estate to be split up.
A good estate plan can contain both a will and a living will. Your will covers the distribution of your property after your death while your living will covers health care issues during your lifetime.
Yes. You can use a power of attorney document to name a trusted person to make financial or health care decisions on your behalf. Powers of attorney are only valid during your lifetime, and you cannot use them to describe who should receive your assets after your death.
A will is the legal document you should use if you want to describe how your property should be divided up after your death.
If you (the “decedent”) die without a will, this is called dying intestate. When you die intestate, a court will divide up your estate according to default state laws called intestacy statutes.
In Delaware, these statutes generally distribute your assets to your spouse and children first. Next in line to inherit are your parents and siblings, then more distant relatives.
Under Delaware law, your entire estate can go to your spouse under certain circumstances. If you die without a will and you have no surviving descendants or parents, your surviving spouse will receive your entire estate.
These laws may not suit your family, especially if you have unique circumstances like a blended family, conflict among loved ones, an unmarried partner, or any other special situations. To avoid these default laws and make your own choices about your estate, you should sign a will. You can create a personalized will with FindLaw’s easy guided process in under an hour without even needing to leave home.
A self-proving will is a will that contains proof of its own validity. This means that the witnesses to the will do not have to testify in probate court to prove that your will is valid. Instead, the court can automatically accept the self-proved will.
If you would like to spare your witnesses from having to testify in probate court, you should make your will self-proving. This also adds to the legitimacy of your will. To get a self-proving will, you and your witnesses need to sign a self-proving affidavit in front of a notary public (a “notary”). You can typically find notaries at banks, post offices, libraries, print and copy stores, and law firms. It’s wise to call these establishments ahead of time to schedule an appointment with a notary.
Once it’s complete, you should store the self-proving affidavit with your will.
Yes. Under Delaware law, any gift you leave your spouse in your will is voided by divorce or annulment. If you named your former spouse as your executor, the divorce revokes this designation too. However, if you should happen to remarry your former spouse, these provisions would be reinstated.
If you have recently gone through a divorce, it’s probably a good time to review your estate plan. You may want to add or remove beneficiaries to your will as a result. Further, if your former spouse was your executor, you may want to choose a new person to carry out the terms of your will.
Regardless of the reason, you can make unlimited free changes to your will for a year after purchase if you create it through FindLaw.
You have the right to change or revoke your will at any time you are capable of doing so. To make minor changes to your will, you can write an amendment. An amendment to a will is called a codicil.
If you need to do a major overhaul of your will or have gone through substantial life events, it’s better to create an entirely new will. When you create a new will, it replaces the old one. You can rest assured that if you create your will through FindLaw, you can make unlimited changes to it free of charge for a year after purchase.
- Sign a new will
- Create a new writing that revokes your will
- Physically cancel your will. If you are unable to do this, you can direct someone to do so on your behalf and in your presence.
Although the above methods are all acceptable, it’s best to revoke your will in writing. This provides your loved ones and executor with a record of your wishes. You can create a new will that revokes all prior ones with FindLaw in about half an hour from the comfort of your own home.
If you change or revoke your will, you should tell your executor as soon as possible. You need to provide them with an updated copy of your will so that they have your most current one at hand. You should also let your loved ones know about the changes. Finally, make sure to remove and destroy any stored copies of your original will and replace them with your new one.
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