Portions of a Will Format used for Same Sex Couples
Last Will and Testament
I, _____________________________, of ______________________, ______________, hereby make, publish, and declare this to be my Last Will and Testament and revoke all previous wills and codicils made by me.
Section 1. Identification of Family
1.01 My partner’s name is ____________________________. All references in this will to my partner, whether or not specifically named, shall mean only my partner, ______________________.
1.02 I have (no) living children or issue. [Specify names of children and whether they are minors or adults. If minors, will must also include a Guardian of Person and Estate clause in conformance with state law. Include the partner’s children in the definition of children whether biological or adopted; include any children where the partner’s adoption petition has not been finalized.]
Section 2. Nomination of Executor
2.01 I hereby nominate ________________________ to serve as my Executor. Should this person be unable or unwilling at any time to serve as my Executor, I nominate ___________________ of ________________________, ________________, to serve as my Alternate Executor.
2.02 I direct that my Executor, and any successor thereto, be permitted to serve without bond in any jurisdiction.
Section 3. Disposition of Tangible Personal Property
3.01 I give, devise, and bequeath my tangible personal property to my partner, ___________________________. My Executor may, in his/her sole discretion, sell any of the property that, in his/her opinion, is not suitable for distribution, and the proceeds thereof shall become a part of my residuary estate. If the devisee named in this section does not survive me, I direct that the said property be disposed of or distributed with the residue of my estate.
Section 4. Residuary Devise
4.01 The balance of my residuary estate shall consist of all property or money owned by me at the time of my death and not otherwise effectively disposed of in this will, including all insurance proceeds or other death benefits that are payable to my estate but excluding any property over which I may have a power of appointment, less all valid claims asserted against my estate and all expenses incurred in administering my estate, including expenses of administering nonprobate assets.
4.02 I give, devise, and bequeath the balance of my residuary estate to my partner, ________________________________, if he/she survives me.
4.03 If my partner predeceases or fails to survive me I give, devise, and bequeath the balance of my residuary estate to _________________________.
4.04 I am leaving my estate to my partner, ________________, because he/she is my life partner. I am not making these provisions out of any disrespect or lack of affection or love for my family. It is my intention that my partner, _____________________, inherit my estate. [Also, see proposed clause in Chapter 4.]
Section 5. Specific Provision Regarding My Pet(s)
5.01 If my partner, _______________________, predeceases or fails to survive me, I bequeath any pets I may own at the time of my death to ____________________. He/She is willing and able to maintain my pets in a comfortable setting with a standard of care similar to that which I had provided for them. I bequeath to ____________________, for accepting my pets under the foregoing sentence, the sum of $500 per pet. This bequest is made with the intention that such amount shall defray the costs of providing care to my pets, but without any restriction or obligation to account to any person for the use of such funds.
5.02 If __________________________ is unable to accept and care for my pets, I authorize and request my Executor to select an appropriate person who is willing and able to do so and to maintain my pets in a comfortable setting with a standard of care similar to that which I had provided for them. I bequeath to the person accepting my pets under the foregoing sentence the sum of $500 per pet. This bequest is made with the intention that such amount shall defray the costs of providing care to my pets, but without any restriction or obligation to account to any person for the use of such funds.
Section 6. Powers of Executor
6.01 My Executor, and any successor thereto, shall have all of the powers granted to Executors and fiduciaries under the probate code and other applicable laws of the state of _______, including the power to execute any joint or individual tax return on my behalf or on behalf of my estate.
6.02 My Executor shall be entitled to reasonable compensation for services actually performed and to reimbursement of expenses properly incurred.
a. My Executor shall have, in addition to any other powers, the power to invest, reinvest, sell, mortgage, lease, or otherwise transfer or dispose of any part or all of my estate, without the necessity of obtaining prior or subsequent court approval;
b. To make repairs or improvements to my property as may be deemed necessary to preserve or enhance the value of my estate;
c. To borrow funds for use in estate administration if there are insufficient liquid assets in my estate;
d. To employ persons, including attorneys, investment advisors, or other agents for assistance or advice, or not to employ such persons, as my Executor deems appropriate;
e. To compromise and settle any claims against or in favor of my estate on such terms and conditions as my Executor deems best;
f. To make determinations as to the allocation of receipts and the apportionment of expenditures between income and principal. My Executor shall not be required to follow any provision of law regarding such determinations, including [relevant chapter of state code].
6.03 My Executor may make distributions either in cash or in kind. Distributions in kind may be made at the discretion of my Executor. My Executor may make any distributions under this will either (1) directly to the beneficiary, (2) in any form allowed by applicable state law for gifts or transfers to minors or persons under disability, (3) to the beneficiary’s guardian, conservator, or caregiver for the benefit of the beneficiary, or (4) by direct payment of the beneficiary’s expenses.
Section 7. Construction and Definitions
The following rules and definitions shall apply in the construction of this instrument and in the administration of my estate:
7.01 Any reference to my “Executor” in whatever form refers to the person, persons, or institution then acting as the personal representative of my estate.
7.02 If any devisee or other beneficiary under this will dies within 30 days after my death or under such circumstances where there is insufficient evidence in the judgment of my Executor to determine whether such person has died within 30 days after my death, the devisee or beneficiary shall be deemed to have failed to survive me.
7.03 The laws of the state of _______ shall govern all questions as to the validity and construction of this.
7.04 The term “estate and death taxes” shall mean all estate, inheritance, transfer, succession, or other taxes or duties payable by reason of my death, including interest and penalties thereon.
Section 8. Payment of Taxes and Expenses
8.01 I direct my Executor to pay the expenses of administering my estate, the expenses created by reason of my death, and all estate and death taxes payable with respect to property includable in my gross estate or taxable by reason of my death, whether or not such property is part of my probate estate and whether or not such taxes are payable by my estate or by the recipient of any such property. Such taxes and expenses should be paid out of my residuary estate without apportionment.
8.02 I direct my Executor to pay only those expenses dealing with my funeral and interment that conform to my expressed wishes. If anyone interferes with my expressed wishes concerning my funeral, memorial service, or interment, and fails to abide by those expressed wishes, that person or persons shall be wholly responsible for any and all expenses. I ask that the Court and all concerned persons in this regard honor my expressed wishes, even if those wishes run counter to those of my immediate family.