Preparing Your Own Will

An attorney is the best person to help you write your Will, but if no attorney is available you can write your own Will. This Classroom goes over the basics of what a will does, how your property would be distributed if you don't have a will, describes the contents of each section in a standard will, and provides Alaska specific information that is important to consider if writing your own will. A sample will is provided at the end of the classroom that can be used as a guideline in writing a will for yourself.

The Contents of Your Will: Summary and Helpful Tools


Preparing Your Will - Summary


Preparing Your Will - Summary

Summary for contents of your will

An attorney is the best person to help you write your Will, but if no attorney is available you can write your own Will.

Be sure to name all family members and provide a marital history.

Describe in your Will what property you own.

Describe what you want done with your property after your death.

Name someone to be your personal representative and list his or her address and telephone number. If you do not want the court to require the personal representative to put up a bond, you must say that he or she may serve without bond.

Be sure to sign and date your Will and have two adults who are not named in the Will witness (sign) and date it, unless it is a handwritten Will.

It is best to add the self-proving clause and have your Will signed and dated before a notary.

Put your original Will in a safe place.

If you are Alaska Native, be sure you follow the special rules for protecting your property.

Helpful tools – Questionaire and Sample

If you still intend to write your own Will, a tool called the “ALSC Will Questionnaire" might be helpful.  Use this before you begin writing, to write down important information about yourself and members of your family. Take time to think about what property you own and who you want it to go to after you die.  The questionnaire is listed as a related resource below.

Fill-in-the-blank forms are not the best tool to use in drafting your will. That type of form tends to lend itself to mistakes or miss important items. Because a will is specific to each individual, everyone’s will is going to look different.  But, a sample will is provided below, as a related resource for you to review and adapt for your own personal needs.

You’re not done yet!

Don’t stop reading here.  The next lesson includes important Alaska specific information that you may need to think about before writing your will.

Last Review and Update: Mar 21, 2017
Back to top