Entering Your Name and Gender

Let's start with the basics.

To start your will with Nolo’s Online Will, you’ll enter your name and indicate your gender. This might seem straight forward, but it’s not clear in every situation. Here’s a little more information that should answer any questions.

Your Name

Your name is needed here to identify you and all the property you own. Enter your first and last names. Enter a middle name or initial, if you use one. Use the same form of your name that you use on other formal documents, such as your driver's license or bank accounts. This may or may not be the name that appears on your birth certificate.

Additional Names and Nicknames

You can leave a note about any other names you use in your Letter to Survivors. Here are a couple of examples:

  • Although I am currently known by most people as "Buddy" Hamilton, I've had several names throghout my life. I was born Theodore Charles Hamilton, and during my childhood, I often went as Teddy. Then in college, I started going by Charles Hamilton, because I thought it sounded distinguished. And I've continued to use that name as my "official" name for most of my life--so that is the name I've used for my will.
  • I've mostly gone by the name Juanita Ana Gonzales, but occasionally I've used my mother's maiden name as my middle name: Juanita Flores Gonzalez.

Your Gender

The program also asks you to state whether you are male or female. This is not to be nosy, but to avoid the awkward “he or she” in your final document.

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Reminder: This will is valid only in the United States. Nolo’s Online Will produces valid wills in all of the United States except for Louisiana—and the program guides you by showing you screens geared specifically to the state of residence you indicate when using it. Because the property and probate laws in Puerto Rico and Guam, for example, may differ from a state you have selected to use in making your will, we do not guarantee that our will is valid there. However, some users who reside outside the United States do use our will to help draft their wills and then have them looked over by an experienced local professional.

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