West Virginia Last Will & Testament Information
A West Virginia Last Will & Testament includes the following requirements:
The testator must be eighteen years old or older.
They must also be of ‘sound mind’.
The Will must be signed by the testator or by someone else in their name (provided it is done under the testator’s direction and in their presence).
The signing of the Will requires at least two witnesses in order to make it valid. The witnesses should not be beneficiaries.
Another requirement to make the Will valid is that it must be in written format.
A West Virginia resident may bequeath their assets to any beneficiaries.
The testator is allowed to make a gift to charity, create a trust for a person or people of their choosing, state a legal guardian for their children, or compile a pet trust to ensure their animal is cared for after its owner’s death.
In West Virginia, the state provides a simple probate process for smaller estates that meet these conditions:
If the estate value is $100,000 and does not consist of any properties;
The sole beneficiary of the estate is also the personal representative;
Or, the named beneficiaries agree that there is unlikely to be dispute, that debts and tax amounts will be covered by the assets, and the executor agrees with this.
In the case that a person dies without having made a will in West Virginia, the surviving spouse is entitled to the entire estate even if joined descendants are present. However, if this spouse has children from another relationship too, they (the spouse) will inherit ⅗ of the assets and the deceased’s children will be entitled to the remaining two-fifths. If the deceased has children from another relationship, the spouse and children each inherit half.
Click here if you have any questions about creating a last will in West Virginia.