Rhode Island Last Will and Testament

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When it comes to a Rhode Island last will and testament, the state’s probate courts oversee the division of property and estates. The court handles estate and property divisions per guidelines set forth by the testator (or the person who made the will).

A Rhode Island will explains what happens to an individual’s property after death. In Rhode Island, the last will and testament must be created by someone 18 years or older. The testator must be of sound mind or someone who has not been deemed incompetent in any previous legal proceedings. They must present the document in writing.

Rhode Island only recognizes oral and handwritten wills from active military duty.

A Rhode Island last will and testament template may make a will. However, it is not required.

If changes are needed to the last will and testament form, Rhode Island requires an amendment – called a codicil – to be included and signed in the same manner as the rest of the document. The testator must add the codicil (and have it witnessed) before their death.

Rhode Island Last Will and Testament Template

Requirements for a Will to be Valid in Rhode Island

A will guarantees that your money and property are distributed according to your wishes following your death. For a will to be valid in Rhode Island, the testator must follow specific guidelines:

  • Divide the desired property between inheritors
  • Choose an executor
  • Choose a guardian if children are present and underage
  • Choose a manager for your children’s property
  • Sign the will in front of at least two witnesses
  • Two witnesses sign the will (they must not be beneficiaries of the will)

These requirements are essential for a valid will. The state of Rhode Island handles all wills through the probate courts.

Notarized Will in Rhode Island

Rhode Island does not require a notary’s signature for the will to be valid. However, a notary’s signature makes the will considered self-proved. A self-proved will can be admitted to the court without witness testimony, speeding up the probate process.

Cost to Create a Will in Rhode Island

While a free last will and testament in Rhode Island might be untenable, a simple Rhode Island will template allows the process to move forward at a reasonable price. Some attorneys charge hundreds or thousands of dollars, depending on the complexity of the content.

A testator can create their own will in Rhode Island. One can typically find simple resources to guide them in the process. If all state requirements are followed, the court must accept the will as legal and valid. 


Rhode Island requires two competent witnesses to testify in court concerning what they saw in signing the will.

In Rhode Island, a testator may write their own will. The testator and two witnesses must sign the will. A consultation with a lawyer may be advisable for more complicated circumstances.

Handwritten wills are only recognized in Rhode Island for active military duty.

No, the law does not require everyone to have a will. Although, it is a valuable tool. Without a will, Rhode Island laws would govern the distribution of your property and financial resources.

Intestacy laws come into play, which requires that a person’s property is divided according to state laws.