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I need a will. I have children, and am not married.

Wills & Estate Planning

This is a simple form will for use if you have children but are single, divorced, or widowed.
Overview

Guide Overview

This is a simple form will for use if you have children but are single, divorced, or widowed. Use these instructions and simple form only if:

  • You are NOT currently married (you are single, widowed, or divorced),
  • You have children, AND
  • You want to write a will that leaves all your property to your children.

Do NOT use these instructions and this form if:

  • You are currently married, 
  • You don’t have children, or
  • You want to give certain things you own to individual people after you die.

Instructions & Forms

This is a simple form will for use if you have children but are single, divorced, or widowed.

To complete the will, you must follow these instructions: (Checklist) Will - Single, Widowed, or Divorced - with Children. 

What does this will do?

This will leaves all your property to your children. They will all get equal shares.

What do you need to do to complete this will?

Follow the steps under “Instructions”, but do NOT sign your will. You will need to have two witnesses AND a notary together when you sign your will.

When you sign your will, you will swear that:

  • This is my will,
  • I have willingly made and signed it in the presence of the witnesses and a notary,
  • All the witnesses and notary were present at the same time, and
  • I have asked each of the witnesses to sign my will when all the witnesses, a notary, and I are together.

The witnesses must be:

  • At least 14 years old, and
  • Not be getting property in your will.

The witnesses will swear:

  • They are both at least fourteen years old,
  • You told them this is your will and you asked them to be witnesses,
  • You signed your will in front of them when you were all together at the same time,
  • You are at least 18 years old, and
  • You are of sound mind. 

Checklist Steps

In item number 1 in the simple will for someone who is single, widowed, or divorced with children, where it says "My full legal name is _____________________________________________________," write your full legal name in the blank—first, middle, and last. 

In item number 3 in the simple will, you will write in the names of your children and their dates of birth.

In item number 5, where it says, "I name ______________________________________ to serve as independent executor without bond," you will need to name someone to be the independent executor of your will. This person will be in charge of your estate after you die and makes sure to carry out your wishes.

Write the full name of the person you want to be your executor in the first blank. Because that person may not be able to serve as your executor, you will need to name an alternate executor.

Write another person’s full name in the second blank.

Read Estate Administration in Texas.

In item number 6, where it says, "I name _______________________________________________________________ as guardian of the person of my minor child(ren)," you will need to name a guardian of the person for any children you have that are under 18 years old. 

Write the full name of the person you want to be guardian of the person for the children in the first blank. Because that person may not be able to serve as the guardian of the person of your children, you also will need to name an alternate guardian of the person. Write another person’s full name in the second blank. 

The Dallas Bar Association put together brief explanation of what it means to execute a Declaration of Guardian for Children

In item number 7 of the will form, where it says, "I name _____________________________ as the guardian of the estate of my minor child(ren). If he or she is not able to serve, I name _________________________," you will need to name a guardian of the estate (consisting primarily of the property they inherited when you passed) of your children who are under 18 years old when you die. This person will make decisions about the property until the child turns 18. You can name the same person as you named to be the guardian of the person of your children.

Write the full name of the person you want to be the guardian of the estate for your minor children in the first blank. Because that person may not be able to serve as the custodian, you will need to name an alternate guardian of the estate. Write another person’s full name in the second blank.

When you have two witnesses and a notary with you, put the date on the next line and sign your full legal name.

Write the full legal names of the witnesses in the next blanks. The witnesses will write the date on the next line and sign their full legal names on the lines for that.

The notary will write your name and the witnesses’ names and the date in the next blanks. The notary will sign on the line for that.

What comes next? Make copies of your will and keep them in a safe place.

Tell someone where the will is located. Your will must be probated after you die to give your property to your children, as well as to appoint an independent executor and guardians for you children.

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