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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
ALABAMAWritten2Self-ProvingNon-UPC
ALASKAWritten2 (But allows holographic will, which doesn't require witnesses)Self-ProvingUPC
ARIZONAWritten2Self-ProvingUPC
ARKANSASWritten2Self-ProvingNon-UPC
CALIFORNIAWritten/Statutory2 (But allows holographic will, which doesn't require witnesses)Not requiredNon-UPCxhttp://www.calbar.ca.gov/Portals/0/documents/CAStatutoryWillForm_ab_1986_bill_20100715_chaptered.pdf
COLORADOWritten2 (But allows holographic will, which doesn't require witnesses)Self-ProvingUPC
CONNECTICUTWritten2Self-ProvingNon-UPC
DELAWAREWritten2Self-ProvingNon-UPC
*DISTRICT OF COLUMBIAWritten2Not requiredNon-UPC
FLORIDAWritten2Self-ProvingNon-UPC
GEORGIAWritten2Self-ProvingNon-UPC
HAWAIIWritten2 (But allows holographic wills which don't require witnesses)Self-ProvingUPC
IDAHOWritten2 (But allows holographic wills which don't require witnessesSelf-ProvingUPC
ILLINOISWritten2Self-ProvingNon-UPC
INDIANAWritten/Oral (I.C. 29-1-5-4)2Not requiredNon-UPC
IOWAWritten2Self-ProvingNon-UPC
KANSASWritten/Oral (K.S.A. 59-608)2Self-ProvingNon-UPC
KENTUCKYWritten2 (But allows holographic will, which doesn't require witnesses)Self-ProvingNon-UPC
LOUISIANAWritten2Required in addition to witnessesNon-UPCNuncupative testament by private act (CCP 2884) and Mystic testament (CCP 2885) must be proved by 3 witnesses
MAINEWritten/Statutory2 (But allows holographic will, which doesn't require witnesses)Self-ProvingUPCxhttp://legislature.maine.gov/statutes/18-C/title18-Csec2-517.pdf
MARYLANDWritten2Not requiredNon-UPC
MASSACHUSETTSWritten2Self-ProvingUPC
MICHIGANWritten/Statutory2 (But allows holographic will, which doesn't require witnesses)Self-ProvingUPCxhttp://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(cdhuhhkfgz0ngz2tn4yfjsjk))/documents/mcl/pdf/mcl-700-2519.pdf
MINNESOTAWritten2Self-ProvingUPC
MISSISSIPPIWritten/Oral2Self-ProvingNon-UPCOral will must be written within 6 months to be probated.
MISSOURIWritten/Oral2Self-ProvingNon-UPC
MONTANAWritten2 (But allows holographic will, which doesn't require witnesses)Self-ProvingUPC
NEBRASKAWritten2 (But allows holographic will, which doesn't require witnesses)Self-ProvingUPC
NEVADAWritten2 (But allows holographic will, which doesn't require witnesses)Self-ProvingNon-UPC
NEW HAMPSHIREWritten/Oral (only for soldiers; N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 551:15)2Self-ProvingNon-UPC
NEW JERSEYWritten2 (But allows holographic will, which doesn't require witnesses)Self-ProvingUPC
NEW MEXICOWritten/Statutory2Self-ProvingUPCxhttps://willforms.org/wp-content/uploads/New-Mexico-Last-Will-and-Testament-Form.pdf
NEW YORKWritten/Oral (limited to military NY CLS EPTL § 3-2.2)2Self-ProvingNon-UPC
NORTH CAROLINAWritten/Oral (limited N.C.G.S. § 31-3.4)2 (But allows holographic will, which doesn't require witnesses)Self-ProvingNon-UPC
NORTH DAKOTAWritten2 (But allows holographic will, which doesn't require witnesses)Self-ProvingUPC
OHIOWritten/Oral (Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2107.60)2Not requiredNon-UPC
OKLAHOMAWritten/Oral (limited to military Okla. Stat. tit. 84 § 84-46)2 (But allows holographic will, which doesn't require witnesses)Self-ProvingNon-UPC
OREGONWritten2Self-ProvingNon-UPC
PENNSYLVANIAWritten2Self-provingNon-UPC
*PUERTO RICOWritten/Oral (31 L.P.R.A. § 11261-71)0YesNon-UPCOral will admitted in video only in immediate danger of death.https://bvirtualogp.pr.gov/ogp/Bvirtual/leyesreferencia/PDF/55-2020.pdf
RHODE ISLANDWritten2Self-provingNon-UPC
SOUTH CAROLINAWritten2Self-provingUPC
SOUTH DAKOTAWritten2 (But allows holographic will, which doesn't require witnesses)Self-provingUPC
TENNESSEEWritten/Oral (Tenn. Code Ann. § 32-1-106)2Self-proving (for wills executed prior to July 1, 2016, see Tenn. Code. Ann. § 32-1-104(b))Non-UPCHas an informal probate process similar UPC states
TEXASWritten/Oral (only if made before September 1, 2007)2 (But allows holographic will, which doesn't require witnesses)Self-provingNon-UPC
UTAHWritten2 (But allows holographic will, which doesn't require witnesses)Self-provingUPC
VERMONTWritten2Not requiredNon-UPCOral will (14 V.S.A. § 6) repealed (2017, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)
VIRGINIAWritten2Self-provingNon-UPC
WASHINGTONWritten/Oral (limited to military. Wash. Rev. Code § 11 12-025)2Self-provingNon-UPC
WEST VIRGINIAWritten2 (But allows holographic will, which doesn't require witnesses)Self-provingNon-UPCHas an informal probate process similar UPC states
WISCONSINWritten/Statutory2Self-provingNon-UPCxhttps://law.marquette.edu/assets/community/pdf/mvlc_bb_handout5.pdf
WYOMINGWritten2 (But allows holographic will, which doesn't require witnesses)Self-provingNon-UPC
GUAMWritten (Probate Code of Guam § 50)2 (But allows holographic will, which doesn't require witnesses)Not requiredNon-UPCMore Informationhttp://www.guamcourts.org/CompilerofLaws/GCA/15gca/15gc002.PDF