Virginia's Requirements for a Will
Virginia's Requirements for a Will
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Virginia's Requirements for a Will

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Summary of Virginia's Will Requirements:

Minimum Age to Make a Will 181
Written Document Required Yes
Nuncupative Wills (Oral) No
Holographic Wills (Hand-Written, Unwitnessed) Yes
Number of Witnesses Required 2
Self-Proving Affidavit Allowed
Statutory Form for Self-Proving Affidavit Yes

 

 

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Statutes Governing Virginia's Will Requirements:

 

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.

Code of Virginia, § 64.1-46.

 

Who may not make a will1

No person (i) of unsound mind or (ii) under the age of eighteen years, unless emancipated pursuant to Article 15 (§ 16.1-331 et seq.) of Chapter 11 of Title 16.1, shall be capable of making a will.

Code of Virginia, § 64.1-47.

 

Advertisements to draw wills prohibited

No person, firm or corporation shall advertise in any newspaper any offer, direct or indirect, to draw any will or have any will drawn, provided that the provisions of this section shall not apply to a duly licensed attorney-at-law, partnership composed of duly licensed attorneys-at-law or a professional corporation or professional limited liability company incorporated or organized for the practice of law so long as such attorney, partnership or professional corporation conducts such advertisement in accordance with the Rules of Court promulgated by the Supreme Court of Virginia.

Any violation of this section shall constitute a misdemeanor and be punished by a fine not exceeding $500.

Code of Virginia, § 64.1-48.

 

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.

Code of Virginia, § 64.1-49.

 

Interested persons as competent witnesses

No person shall be incompetent to testify for or against the will solely by reason of any interest in the will or the estate of the testator.

Code of Virginia, § 64.1-51.

 

Will of personal estate of soldiers, seamen and nonresidents

Notwithstanding the provisions of §§ 64.1-49 and 64.1-50, a soldier being in actual military service, or a mariner or seaman being at sea, may dispose of his personal estate as he might heretofore have done; and the will of a person domiciled out of this Commonwealth at the time of his death shall be valid as to personal property in this Commonwealth, if it be executed according to the law of the state or country in which he was so domiciled.

Code of Virginia, § 64.1-53.

 

Presumption of formal execution of wills made by persons in military service

A testamentary paper executed before or after October 1, 1940 by a person in the military service of the United States as defined by the Soldiers' and Sailors' Relief Act of 1940, while in such service, purporting on its face to be witnessed as required by § 64.1-49, upon proof of the signature of the testator by any two disinterested witnesses, shall be presumed, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, to have been executed in accordance with the requirements of that section and shall be admitted to probate in like manner and with like effect as if the formalities of execution were duly and regularly proved.

Code of Virginia, § 64.1-54.

 

Validation of holographic wills

The probate of all holographic wills admitted to probate in this Commonwealth prior to March 20, 1922, the handwriting of which was proved by one witness instead of two is validated and made as binding and effectual as if such wills had been proved according to § 5229 of the Code of 1919.

Code of Virginia, § 64.1-55.

 

How will may be made self-proved

A will, at the time of its execution or at any subsequent date, may be made self-proved by the acknowledgment thereof by the testator and the affidavits of the attesting witnesses, each made before an officer authorized to administer oaths under the laws of this Commonwealth or the laws of the state where acknowledgment occurred or before an officer of the foreign service of the United States, a consular agent, or any other person authorized by regulation of the United States Department of State to perform notarial acts in the place in which the act is performed, and evidenced by the officer's certificate, attached or annexed to the will. The officer's certificate shall be substantially as follows in form and content:


STATE OF VIRGINIA

COUNTY/CITY OF ............


Before me, the undersigned authority, on this day personally appeared........, ........, and......., known to me to be the testator and the witnesses, respectively, whose names are signed to the attached or foregoing< instrument and, all of these persons being by me first duly sworn, ....., the testator, declared to me and to the witnesses in my presence that said instrument is his last will and testament and that he had willingly signed or directed another to sign the same for him, and executed it in the presence of said witnesses as his free and voluntary act for the purposes therein expressed that said witnesses stated before me that the foregoing will was executed and acknowledged by the testator as his last will and testament in the presence of said witnesses who, in his presence and at his request, and in the presence of each other, did subscribe their names thereto as attesting witnesses on the day of the date of said will, and that the testator, at the time of the execution of said will, was over the age of eighteen years and of sound and disposing mind and memory.

....................
Testator

....................
Witness

....................
Witness

Subscribed, sworn and acknowledged before me by .........., the testator, and subscribed and sworn before me& by ................ and .........., witnesses, this .... day of ........, A.D., .......

SIGNED ....................
....................
(OFFICIAL CAPACITY OF OFFICER)

The sworn statement of any such witnesses taken as herein provided, whether before, on or after July 1, 1986, shall be accepted by the court as if it had been taken ore tenus before such court, notwithstanding that (i) the officer did not attach or affix his official seal thereto or (ii) the acknowledgment was before an officer authorized to administer oaths under the laws of another state. Any codicil which is self-proved under the provisions of this section which also, by its terms, expressly confirms, ratifies and republishes a will except as altered by the codicil shall have the effect of self-proving the will whether or not the will was so executed originally.

Code of Virginia, § 64.1-87.1.

 

Same; alternate method

A will, at the time of its execution or at any subsequent date, may be made self-proved by the acknowledgment thereof by the testator and the attesting witnesses, each made before an officer authorized to administer oaths under the laws of the Commonwealth, or the laws of the state where the acknowledgment occurred or before an officer of the foreign service of the United States, a consular agent, or any other person authorized by regulation of the United States Department of State to perform notarial acts in the place in which the act is performed, and evidenced by the officer's certificate, attached or annexed to the will. The officer's certificate shall be substantially as follows in form and content:

STATE OF VIRGINIA
CITY/COUNTY OF ............

Before me, the undersigned authority, on this day personally appeared .........., .........., and .........., known to me to be the testator and the witnesses, respectively whose names are signed to the attached or foregoing instrument and, all of these persons being by me first duly sworn, .........., the testator, declared to me and to the witnesses in my presence that said instrument is his last will and testament and that he had willingly signed or directed another to sign the same for him, and executed it in the presence of said witnesses as his free and voluntary act for the purposes therein expressed, that said witnesses stated before me that the foregoing will was executed and acknowledged by the testator as his last will and testament in the presence of said witnesses who in his presence and at his request and in the presence of each other did subscribe their names thereto as attesting witnesses on the day of the date of said will and that the testator, at the time of the execution of said will, was over the age of eighteen years and of sound and disposing mind and memory.

Sworn and acknowledged before me by ........, the testator, and ......... and .........., witnesses, this .... day of ........ A.D., .......

SIGNED ....................
....................
(OFFICIAL CAPACITY OF OFFICER)

Code of Virginia, § 64.1-87.2.

 

 

[Reference - Virginia Requirements for a Will]

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