Providing free education on the legal and practical issues to help you navigate health care.

Estate Planning State Laws: Creating a Valid Will

This chart highlights the state laws related to estate planning and creating a valid will, including the type of will allowed in your state (statutory, written, oral), the number of witnesses required, whether you need a notary, and more. Check back often, as this chart is updated frequently.

If you don't find what you're looking for, see our chart of state laws related to Remote Execution of Estate Planning DocumentsDeath with Dignity, and Funeral Designations.

For more information, see our Estate Planning Materials & Resources, and our State-Specific Estate Planning Toolkit.

StateWritten/Oral/ StatutoryNumber of Witnesses RequiredNotarization RequiredProbate Process: UPC/Non-UPCHas Statutory Will FormNotes
ALASKAWritten2 (But allows holographic will, which doesn't require witnesses)UPC
ARIZONAWritten2 (But allows holographic will, which doesn't require witnesses)UPC
ARKANSASWritten2 (But allows holographic will, which doesn't require witnesses)Non-UPCSelf proving provision does not give model affidavit
CALIFORNIAWritten/Statutory (California Probate Code, Part 1, Chapter 6)2 (But allows holographic will, which doesn't require witnesses)Non-UPCx proving provision does not give model affidavit
COLORADOWritten2 (But allows holographic will)UPCCan also have notary public authorize without witnessesC.R.S.A. § 15-11-502;
CONNECTICUTWritten2Non-UPCSelf proving provision does not give model affidavit
*DISTRICT OF COLUMBIAWritten2Non-UPCSelf proving is only available for electronic wills
HAWAIIWritten2 (But allows holographic wills)UPC
IDAHOWritten2 (But allows holographic wills)UPC
INDIANAWritten/Oral (I.C. 29-1-5-4)2Non-UPCIf there is an interested witness and will cannot be proven without their testimony, then the parts of the will related to that witness are voidI.C. 29-1-5-2(c) ;
KANSASWritten/Oral (K.S.A. 59-608)2Non-UPC
KENTUCKYWritten2 (But allows holographic wills if written by the testator)Non-UPC
LOUISIANAWritten2 (But allows holographic will if written, signed, and dated by testator)Non-UPC
MAINEWritten/Statutory (18-C M.R.S.A. § 2-517)2 (But allows holographic wills)UPCx
MARYLANDWritten2(Allows holographic wills for those in military; MD Code, Estates and Trusts § 4-103)Non-UPCSelf proving required if electronic will or remotely notarized; witnesses must be in physical presence of testator if not electronic§ion=4-102
MICHIGANWritten/Statutory (M.C.L.A. 700.2519)2 (But allows holographic wills)UPCx
MISSISSIPPIWritten/Oral (Miss. Code § 91-5-15)2 (But allows holographic will)Non-UPCOral will must be written within 6 months to be probated; Self proving provision does not give model affidavit
MISSOURIWritten/Oral (V.A.M.S. 474.340)2Non-UPC
MONTANAWritten2 (But allows holographic wills)UPC
NEBRASKAWritten2 (But allows holographic wills)UPC
NEVADAWritten2 (But allows holographic wills)Non-UPC
NEW HAMPSHIREWritten/Oral (only for soldiers; N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 551:15)2Non-UPC
NEW JERSEYWritten2 (But allows holographic wills)UPC
NEW MEXICOWritten/Statutory (N.M.S.A. § 45-2A-172UPCx
NEW YORKWritten/Oral (limited to military NY CLS EPTL § 3-2.2)2 (holographic wills limited to military NY CLS EPTL § 3-2.2)Non-UPC
NORTH CAROLINAWritten/Oral (limited N.C.G.S. § 31-3.5)2 (But allows holographic wills)Non-UPC
NORTH DAKOTAWritten2 (But allows holographic wills)UPCNo witnesses needed if acknowledged by testator in front of a notary
OHIOWritten/Oral (Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2107.60)2Non-UPCOral will must be written within 10 days and signed by two witnesses
OKLAHOMAWritten/Oral (limited to military Okla. Stat. tit. 84 § 84-46)2 (But allows holographic wills)Non-UPC
PENNSYLVANIAWritten0Non-UPC2 witnesses required if testator is unable to sign will themselves
*PUERTO RICOWritten/Oral (31 L.P.R.A. § 2144)0Non-UPC
SOUTH DAKOTAWritten2 (But allows holographic wills)UPC
TENNESSEEWritten/Oral (Tenn. Code Ann. § 32-1-106)2 (But allows holographic will)Non-UPCHas an informal probate process similar UPC states
TEXASWritten2 (But allows holographic wills)Non-UPC
UTAHWritten2 (But allows holographic wills)UPC
VERMONTWritten2Non-UPCSelf proving provision does not give model affidavit
VIRGINIAWritten2 (But allows holographic wills)Non-UPC
WASHINGTONWritten/Oral (limited to military. Wash. Rev. Code § 11 12-025)2Non-UPC
WEST VIRGINIAWritten2 (But allows holographic wills)Non-UPCSelf proving provision does not give model affidavit
WYOMINGWritten2 (But allows holographic wills)Non-UPC
GUAMWritten2 (But allows holographic wills)Non-UPCMore Information
Last Updated2/24