A will is a written document which states how you want your belongings, money, and property to be distributed (who they will be given to) after your death. You must be over age 18 and must be competent when you sign ("execute") it. It must be signed in the presence of two witnesses.
In your will, you can name the person you want to be in charge of following your wishes about who gets your assets. This person is called your "executor." A will can also provide for the guardianship of your minor children. After your death, your will must go through Probate Court before any distributions can be made.
Even if you think you don't need a will, having a will is a good idea. A will lets you decide how your assets will be distributed. If you die without a will, your assets will be distributed to your family based on standard rules for everyone in Vermont (see below).
More Information about Wills
Call Vermont Legal Aid at 1-800-889-2047 if you have additional questions. Vermont Legal Aid does not draft wills, but may be able to answer basic questions. You can also find a private attorney to draft your will by contacting the Vermont Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Service at 1-800-639-7036.
See the Vermont Judiciary website for more information about Probate Court.