Bellingham, WA asked in Estate Planning for Washington

Q: Can I make a secret will that my husband will not know about until my death?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Brent Bowden
Brent Bowden
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Lynnwood
  • Licensed in Washington

A: There is no requirement that your husband be aware of your will. But there are risks to a secret or surprise will. In the event you died and your husband survived you, he would be likely to open a probate assuming your old will or as if you didn't have one. If nobody brings the secret will to court, it would be like you never had it. Wills that are surprises are also potentially more likely to result in challenges to their validity. And, lastly, Washington is a community property state, so that impacts what property you can devise in your will and it gives your Husband certain rights with regard to community property.

I would suggest that you enlist the help of an attorney if you are considering doing something like this.

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