Vermont Last Will and Testament Law

Wills and Estates – Last Will and Testament Law – Vermont

Note: This summary is not intended to be an all inclusive discussion of the law of wills in Vermont, but does contain basic and other information. This summary does not include a discussion of hand written wills.

Who may make a wlll: A person of age and sound mind may devise, bequeath and dispose of his estate, real and personal, and of any right or interest which he has in any real or personal estate, by his last will and testament. 14 V.S.A. § 1.

Execution of will A will must be in writing and signed by the testator, or by the testator’s name written by some other person in the testator’s presence and by the testator’s express direction, and attested and subscribed by two or more credible witnesses in the presence of the testator and of each other. 14 V.S.A. § 5.

Legislative History: Amended 2005, No. 106 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.

Nuncupative will A nuncupative will shall not pass personal estate when the estate thereby bequeathed exceeds the value of $200.00, nor shall such will be proved and allowed, unless a memorandum thereof is made in writing by a person present at the time of making such will, within six days from the making of it, nor unless it is presented for probate within six months from the death of the testator. 14 V.S.A. §  6

How revoked: A will shall not be revoked, except by implication of law, otherwise than by some will, codicil or other writing, executed as provided in case of wills; or by burning, tearing, canceling or obliterating the same, with the intention of revoking it, by the testator himself, or by some person in his or her presence and by his or her express direction. 14 V.S.A. § 11.

Deposit of will for safekeeping; delivery; final disposition:
(a) A testator may deposit a will for safekeeping in the probate court for the district in which the testator resides on the payment of a fee required by law. The register shall give to the testator a certificate of deposit, shall safely keep each will so deposited and shall keep an index of the wills so deposited.
(b) Each will so deposited shall be inclosed in a sealed wrapper having inscribed thereon the name and residence of the testator, the day when and the person by whom it was deposited, and the wrapper may also have indorsed thereon the name of the person to whom the will is to be delivered after the death of the testator. The wrapper shall not be opened until it is delivered to a person entitled to receive it or until otherwise disposed of as hereinafter provided.
(c) During the life of the testator that will shall be delivered only to the testator, or in accordance with the testator’s order in writing duly proved by oath of a subscribing witness, but the testator’s duly authorized legal guardian may at any time inspect and copy the will in the presence of the judge or register. After the death of the testator it shall be delivered on demand to the person named in the indorsement.
(d) If the will is not called for by the person named in the indorsement, it shall be publicly opened at a time to be appointed by the Court as soon as may be after notice of the testator’s death. If a petition to open a decedent’s estate is filed in a district other than where the will has been kept, the will shall be delivered to the executor therein named or to the person whose name is indorsed on the wrapper or shall be filed in the other Court, as the Court may order.
(e) Except as provided herein, wills deposited for safekeeping or any index of wills so deposited are not open to public inspection. 14 V.S.A. § 2.

Devise or legacy to witness: If a person, other than an heir at law, attests the execution of a will whereby he or she or his wife or her husband is given a beneficial devise, legacy or interest in or affecting real or personal estate, such devise, legacy or interest shall be void so far only as concerns such person or his wife or her husband or one claiming under such person, husband or wife, unless there are three other competent witnesses to such will. Such person so attesting shall be admitted as a witness as if such devise, legacy or interest had not been made or given. A mere charge on the real or personal estate of the testator for the payment of debts shall not prevent his creditors from being competent witnesses to his will.
This provision does not apply to heirs at law of the testator. 14 V.S.A. § 10.

Related Vermont Legal Forms


Inside Vermont Last Will and Testament Law