Frequently Asked Questions

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Executing a will is the technical term for signing a will and making it legally binding. ... To execute a will in any state in the United States, you must 1) sign the document while you have the capacity to know what you're doing, and 2) have two people sign the will as witnesses.

After you the Testator and 2 witnesses have signed your Will it is now executed. 

Executing a will is the technical term for signing a will and making it legally binding. ... To execute a will in any state in the United States, you must 1) sign the document while you have the capacity to know what you're doing, and 2) have two people sign the will as witnesses.


Now that your will is executed we recommend storing your executed will in a safe place you can optionally upload a scanned copy to your wills.com profile We recommend you communicate clearly with the executor and beneficiaries of your estate plan of the whereabouts of your important documents. 

You can use the "My will progress" menu on the right of the page to go back and forth between the different sections in your will by selecting the desired section. 


You can always continue your will by going to wills.com > Logging into your account > and select continue my Will. 

This will take you back to where you left off. 

When creating a will, you must possess the legal competency or mental capacity to do so.  Otherwise, the will may not be considered valid by the court. However, simply because someone has a mental illness or disease, that does not mean they automatically lack the required mental capacity.  In fact, if the testator has periods of clarity, he or she could still be considered competent at the time the will is executed, if it occurs during that period of lucidity.

The answer will depend on all of the circumstances in your situation, but there are living trust and testamentary trusts. Testamentary trusts are created in a will and take effect when you die. They can be used to manage the distribution of assets that weren't specifically dealt with in the last will and testament form, such as property you acquired later.

You should choose witnesses who are adults (at least 18 years old), are not named as beneficiaries, and are not the spouse of a named beneficiary in your will.

Executor(s) of your estate are entitled to payment, however, most executors who are close family members do not ask to be paid. In situations when an executor gets paid, probate courts decide what is reasonable pay based state laws. 


An executor, also referred to  as your personal representative, is named in your will as the person who will carry out your wishes after your death. Your personal representative pays your outstanding debts from your estate's assets and distributes your remaining assets (real and personal property) to heirs that you name as beneficiaries.

Your personal representative, also referred to as executor, is named in your will as the person who will carry out your wishes after your death. Your personal representative pays your outstanding debts from your estate's assets and distributes your remaining assets (real and personal property) to heirs that you name as beneficiaries.

Yes, the executor of your will can also be a beneficiary or trustee of your estate. 

A codicil is a legal document that changes one or more parts of your will. The codicil needs to refer to the sections in your original will being changed. Codicils can add confusion and add risk of challenges to your will. Just like a will, codicils need to be witnessed by at least two people who are not beneficiaries of either your original will or the codicil.


Your will needs to be witnessed by at least two people (three in Vermont) who are not named as beneficiaries in your will and are at least 18 years old. 


There are two ways to change your will: 

  1. Create a new will. There is no additional cost for a wills.com user to change a will.
  2. Add a codicil, a legal document that changes one or more parts of your will. The codicil needs to refer to the sections in your original will being changed. Codicils can add confusion and risk of challenges to your will.
    Just like a will, codicils need to be witnessed by at least two people who are not beneficiaries of either the codicil or your original will. 


Joint Wills, Mirror Wills, Mutual Wills, and Reciprocal Wills are typically created by a couple (either married or partners in a committed relationship) to coordinate their wishes

Mutual Wills and Joint Wills are created by a couple to ensure that their property is disposed of identically. 

Mutual is mutually binding after one party dies, the remaining party is bound by the terms of the mutual will.

The purpose of this type of will is often to ensure that assets pass to children rather than a new spouse if the living partner remarries.

A mutual will is a technical legal device requiring an intention to form a binding agreement. A mutual will where each makes a reciprocal will, agreeing to how they want to leave their property according to a mutual agreement on how each is to distribute their own estate at death. It is not necessary that the couple agree to leave personal or other property in equal shares or to be equally divided among their children or other heirs a certain way.   

Mutual will promises do not become binding on the surviving spouse until the first spouse dies. Until that time, either spouse may change the will. However, mutual wills may include an agreement not to revoke a will or else the party is in breach of the contract to dispose of property as agreed through the wills. If a breach occurs, a court may impose a constructive trust on the property.

Mutual wills are any two (or more) wills which are mutually binding, such that following the first death the survivor is constrained in his or her ability to dispose of his or her property by the agreement he or she made with the deceased. Historically such wills had an important role in ensuring property passed to children of a marriage rather than a spouse of a widow or widower on a remarriage.

A joint will is a single legal document executed by spouses, making which has effect in relation to each signatory's property on his or her death (unless he or she revokes (cancels) the will during his or her lifetime). Although a single document, the joint will is a separate distribution of property by each executor (signatory) and will be treated as such on admission to probate. 

A joint will differs substantively from a mutual will in that the former is not intended to be irrevocable or to express a mutual intention; it is merely an administrative convenience. A will may be both joint (on one document) and mutual (see below).

Joint wills are not valid in all states.

The recognition of these forms varies widely from one jurisdiction to the next. Some permit both, some will not recognize joint wills, and many have established a presumption that one or both of these forms creates a will contract.

Mirror wills are two identical but separate wills where a couple's wishes are exactly the same. Also, each spouse or partner names the other as the executor. If both pass at the same time, each will contains language directing their estates to be distributed amongst their children or other chosen heirs. Mirror wills may or may not also be mutual wills.

If you move to a new state, you may need a new will. It depends on how any differences in the laws of new and previous state relate to your will. Although states typically recognize a will that complies with the laws of your previous state, a move is often a good time to update your will. Creating an updated will that is compliant with your new state is very easy on wills.com.

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