A will is a legal document that transfers your assets upon death. A person who makes a will is called a testator; the individuals who stand to inherit under the will are referred to as beneficiaries. Wyoming will requirements are not complex, but failure to comply with Wyoming law could result in your will being contested or invalidated. In Wyoming, a will should be either handwritten or typed. Wyoming does not recognize an audio or video recording of your final wishes as a will. Wyoming does recognize holographic wills. Holographic wills do not have to meet the formal requirements to be valid; however, they are much more likely to be contested than a handwritten or typed will.
Title the first page "The Last Will and Testament." Include the date and your full legal name. Also include the city or town in which you live. Alternatively, consider using a legal document preparation website to prepare your will. You can also search for a template will form online that is designed for use in Wyoming.
Satisfy age and competency requirements. In Wyoming, you must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind. Generally, if you know the value and nature of your assets and understand your will is going to transfer those assets to your beneficiaries, you are of sound mind. If you have been found incompetent in another legal proceeding, you likely are not competent to write a will.
Nominate a personal representative. This person, sometimes called an executor, will be the person who carries out the wishes you declare in your will. Choose someone you trust.
List your assets. Make a complete inventory of all of your assets, including your real estate, personal property, bank accounts and investments. Decide and list who you would like to inherit those assets. You can also make a “catch-all provision” to allocate any property that you forgot to include in your list.
Make arrangements for your children. If you have children, you may nominate a guardian to care for them when you pass. You may also nominate this person to be your children’s conservator. A conservator controls your children’s assets until they become adults. You may also nominate a person or entity, other than the guardian, to be your children’s conservator.
Sign your will. In Wyoming, you must sign your will in front of two witnesses. If you cannot physically sign your will, you may direct someone else to sign for you in the presence of your witnesses. Your witnesses should be “disinterested,” or not stand to inherit anything in your will. If one or both of your witnesses is “interested,” he may not receive the inheritance you intend.
Direct the witnesses to sign your will. Your two witnesses must sign the will in your presence.
Safeguard your will. Secure your will in a safe place and notify your personal representative of where to find the will upon your passing.
- Wyoming provides a simplified probate procedure for “self-proving” wills. To create a self-proving will, you and your witnesses must swear to the authenticity of your will in a written affidavit signed before a notary.
- If you have a large estate or complex assets, consider hiring a legal professional to assist in drafting your will.
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