How to Create a Will in Idaho

By Brian Richards

Wills do not need to contain magic language to be a valid legal document. As long as your will complies with Idaho laws regarding will creation, your will is likely valid. For this reason, a testator -- the person who is drafting a will -- may create his own estate plan without the aid of an attorney. An attorney is, however, useful in making sure you comply with all of Idaho's formalities. Idaho also allows holographic wills -- wills that are written in the testator's own handwriting and signed at the bottom -- which have fewer formal requirements.

Wills do not need to contain magic language to be a valid legal document. As long as your will complies with Idaho laws regarding will creation, your will is likely valid. For this reason, a testator -- the person who is drafting a will -- may create his own estate plan without the aid of an attorney. An attorney is, however, useful in making sure you comply with all of Idaho's formalities. Idaho also allows holographic wills -- wills that are written in the testator's own handwriting and signed at the bottom -- which have fewer formal requirements.

Step 1

Create a new, blank document either in a word processing program or on a physical sheet of paper. In Idaho, all wills must be in writing and must be in ink.

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Step 2

Identify the purpose of the document, such as by titling it "Last Will and Testament."

Step 3

Identify yourself by name, city and state of residency, birth date, and birthplace. Include a statement describing your marital status, including the name of your spouse or most recent former spouse. Provide dates for marriage or divorce as appropriate. Identify the number of children you have, if any, and supply their names.

Step 4

Select an individual whom you trust to act as your personal representative. His duties will begin after your death, and he will be responsible for managing your estate and giving your property to your beneficiaries. Write a statement appointing your chosen person by name as your personal representative, and supply one or two additional names as individuals who may serve as backup in the event your first choice cannot or chooses not to serve as your representative.

Step 5

Carefully describe your personal property and your intended beneficiary. The more detailed your descriptions, the more likely the court will recognize your dispositions. For instance, write "I give my house at 123 Oak Street, Cityname, Idaho, to my daughter, Jane Doe."

Step 6

Write your name, current city and state of residence, and date at the bottom of your will. Include lines for your signature and the names, addresses and signatures of at least two witnesses.

Step 7

Sign the will in the presence of at least two witnesses. After you have signed, have your witnesses write their names and addresses on the lines you created. Finally, have the witnesses sign the will.

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How to Make a Will Without a Lawyer

References

Resources

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DIY for a Will and Testament

If your estate is small or you do not have minor children, you may decide to write your own will and testament. A DIY will and testament can be legal, as long as it meets the requirements for valid wills in your state. Consulting an attorney can help clarify the specific instructions in your state's laws for making a will.

Legal & Binding Wills

Although you may not like contemplating death, preparing a will allows you to provide instructions regarding your personal wishes and the division of your assets. Your will allows you to designate your belongings to the individuals and charities you choose. When written and executed properly, your will provides a legally binding document for the court and your beneficiaries.

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A will is a document that tells a probate court how to distribute the assets of the person who wrote the will -- known as the testator -- after he dies. A will must be prepared in accordance with state law or it will not be enforced. The laws of the various states differ somewhat on what is required to create a valid will. If your will is declared invalid, your property will be distributed among your relatives in accordance with the state intestacy law.

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