Will Form for a Domestic Partner With Children

A simple will is the best instrument to ensure that your wishes are carried out after you pass away. A will supplements even the most extensive estate plan, to ensure that assets not covered by other estate planning instruments are directed to the intended beneficiaries.

The following document is an example of a simple will, intended for a person in a domestic partnership who has children. If you have special circumstances, such as intending to disinherit an heir or concerns about possible claims by previously unknown heirs, you should consult an estate planning lawyer in your state.

Will of Testator's Name

I, Testator’s Name, also known as Other Names, state that I am a resident of City, County County, State. This document is my will, and I revoke all my prior wills and codicils.

Declarations

My partner is Partner’s Name, and all references herein to my Partner are to him/her.

My living children are Children’s Names. The term “my children” includes all of my children named herein, and all children born or adopted after the making of this will.

Fiduciaries

Personal Representative. I nominate Person or Entity as Personal Representative. If he / she / it is or becomes unable or unwilling to serve, I nominate Person or Entity as successor or alternate Personal Representative.

Guardian of minor children. I appoint my partner as the guardian of any child of mine who is a minor at my death. If my partner fails to survive me, fails to qualify, ceases to serve, or is unable to serve, I appoint Guardian’s name as guardian of any child of mine who is a minor at my death. If for any reason he / she fails to qualify, ceases to serve or is unable to serve, I appoint alternate’s name as guardian of any child of mine who is a minor at my death.

Conservator Of Minor Children's Assets. I appoint my partner as the conservator for any child of mine who is a minor at my death. If my partner fails to survive me, I nominate the guardian appointed under this will as conservator for any child of mine who is a minor at my death.

Compensation. My fiduciaries optional: “other than my partner” are entitled to reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses and may receive reasonable compensation for services.

Bond. No bond or security shall be required of any of my fiduciaries.

Gifts

Specific Gifts. I make the following gifts to the persons named below who survive me, or to the named charity:

[You may make as many or as few specific gifts as you choose, and may make those gifts to individuals, charities, or any other entity that you choose. You do not have to specify your relationship to the recipient, but doing so reduces the chance of ambiguity. You have the option of adding conditions to a gift, such as, "if he survives me", and designate an alternative beneficiary if the condition is not met.]

I leave Gift to Describe Relationship to Recipient — for example, “My niece” Recipient's Name of Recipient’s Address, Describe Relationship, — for example, e.g., “My niece” Describe Condition, if any, e.g., “If she survives me”. If Recipient's Name does not Describe Condition, I leave Gift to Alternate Recipient of Alternate Recipient’s Address, Describe Relationship.

I leave Gift to Describe Relationship to Recipient Recipient's Name of Recipient’s Address, Describe Relationship, — for example, e.g., “My niece” Describe Condition, if any, e.g., “If she survives me”. If Recipient's Name does not Describe Condition, I leave Gift to Alternate Recipient of Alternate Recipient’s Address, Describe Relationship.

I leave Gift to Describe Relationship to Recipient Recipient's Name of Recipient’s Address, Describe Relationship, — for example, e.g., “My niece” Describe Condition, if any, e.g., “If she survives me”. If Recipient's Name does not Describe Condition, I leave Gift to Alternate Recipient of Alternate Recipient’s Address, Describe Relationship.

Other personal and household property. I give all personal, tangible, and household property not effectively disposed of above to my partner if she/he survives me. My tangible personal property includes my personal effects, furniture, household goods, books, jewelry, automobiles, watercraft, and other tangible items.

Alternate Gift. If my partner does not survive me, I give all of my personal, tangible, and household property not effectively disposed of above to my children who survive me in as nearly equal shares as possible. Any items that are inappropriate for distribution to a child at the time my estate is closed may be distributed to the trustee or custodian for the child, for delivery to the child at a later date.

[Although optional, a dispute resolution clause may facilitate the distribution of your estate when your heirs disagree about the distribution of property.]

Resolution of Disputes. If there is a dispute among my beneficiaries over which items of tangible personal property each is to receive, my personal representative shall place a value on each item (by appraisal if appropriate) and then each beneficiary shall select in rotation (the order of choice to be determined by lot) the items each desires until all beneficiaries have received property of approximately equal value.

Insurance Policies. I give the policies of insurance covering any personal or real property in which I have an interest, including any claims I have thereunder, to those persons who succeed to the ownership of such property by reason of my death.

Residue

[Choose one residuary clause and strike the other. Your will should have a residuary clause, so do not delete both clauses.]

Residuary to Living Trust. I give all other property that I own to the trustee of the Trust Name dated Date, to be held, administered, and distributed under its terms as it exists at my death. This gift includes all property that I have the power to appoint by will without specifically referring to the instrument that created the power.

Residuary to Partner.I give all other property that I own to my partner, if my partner survives me. If my partner does not survive me, I leave all other property that I own to my children in equal shares. If a child does not survive me, that child’s share shall be distributed in equal shares between the deceased child’s children, if any. If none of the deceased child’s children survive me, or the deceased child has no children, then that child’s share shall be distributed in equal shares between my surviving children.

Contingent Residuary Beneficiary. If none of the foregoing residuary beneficiaries survives me, then I give the residue of my estate to Beneficiary.

Authority of Personal Representative

I give to my personal representative all the authority conferred by law to a personal representative under State law during the period my estate is being administered.

I give to my personal representative the authority to pay all of my bills from the residuary of my estate, without apportionment among my beneficiaries, including my legally enforceable debts (other than debts secured by real or tangible property, which property shall pass subject to those obligations), my funeral expenses, the expenses of administering my estate, and taxes (including any interest and penalties).

To the extent funds are not needed to meet debts and expenses currently payable and are not immediately distributable, I give to my personal representative the power to invest and reinvest the estate from time to time in accordance with the State prudent investor rule. In dividing and distributing the estate, the personal representative may distribute partially or totally in kind, may determine the value of distributions in kind without reference to income tax bases, and may make non-pro rata distributions.

Survival

For purposes of this will only, a person has survived me or is living at a particular date only if he or she lives for more than 30 days after my death or after the particular date.

Unless otherwise specifically provided in this will, a gift fails if a beneficiary does not satisfy a condition of survival and there is no substitute beneficiary indicated in this document who satisfies the conditions for taking.

[Antilapse laws define who receives a bequest in the event that it cannot be received by the named beneficiary. If you eliminate the following clause, the state's antilapse statute will determine who receives a failed bequest.]

The provisions of an antilapse statute shall not apply to preserve a gift for a person or persons who are not identified as a substitute or substitutes in this document.

Additional Provisions

Choice of law. This will is to be interpreted and construed under the laws of the state of State.

Severability. If any part of this will is declared invalid, illegal, or inoperative for any reason, the remaining parts shall remain effective and fully operative.

Statutory Benefits. The value of a homestead allowance, family allowance, exempt property allowance, or similar statutory benefit that is received by a beneficiary shall be charged against the share given under this will to or for the beneficiary. If the benefit exceeds the gift under this will, my personal representative may direct that the excess be charged against the benefits payable to the beneficiary under any trust that receives assets from my estate.

Funeral and Memorial Service

[You may modify this clause to reflect your exact wishes.]

I request that my remains be disposed of by Burial/Cremation/Other, at Location. I wish for Names to be invited to my memorial service, which I would like to be held at Location. I request that the following music/poem/scripture/etc. be sung/played/read/etc. at my memorial service.

I sign my name to this will on the date of Date, Month, Year in the presence of the undersigned witnesses, and declare this to be my will, that I sign it willingly and voluntarily for the purposes expressed in this will, and that I am of legal age.

Testator's Signature
Testator's Typed Name

[You must use at least two witnesses. You may omit the third witness if you choose.]

Witnesses

We, Witness 1's Name, Witness 2's Name, and Witness 3's Name, hereby certify that the above instrument was on the date subscribed at the end thereof by Testator’s Name, the testator, that he/she signed and declared the above instrument as the testator’s will in our presence and that we, at the testator’s request and in the testator’s presence and in the presence of each other, have signed our names as witnesses thereto, believing to the best of our knowledge that the testator is of legal age, sound mind and memory, and under no constraint or undue influence at the time of signing.

Witness 1's Signature
Witness 1's Typed Name

Witness 2's Signature
Witness 2's Typed Name

Witness 3's Signature
Witness 3's Typed Name

[It is highly recommended that you add a self-proving affidavit to your will.]

Copyright © 2016 Aaron Larson, All rights reserved. No portion of this article may be reproduced without the express written permission of the copyright holder. If you use a quotation, excerpt or paraphrase of this article, except as otherwise authorized in writing by the author of the article you must cite this article as a source for your work and include a link back to the original article from any online materials that incorporate or are derived from the content of this article.

This article was last reviewed or amended on Sep 8, 2016.