Making a Will in Wyoming

How to make a will in Wyoming and what can happen if you don't.

Updated by , Attorney (George Mason University Law School)

Steps to Create a Will in Wyoming

Here's a quick checklist for making a will in Wyoming:

  1. Decide what property to include in your will.
  2. Decide who will inherit your property.
  3. Choose an executor to handle your estate.
  4. Choose a guardian for your children.
  5. Choose someone to manage children's property.
  6. Make your will.
  7. Sign your will in front of witnesses.
  8. Store your will safely.

Why Should I Make a Wyoming Will?

A will, also called a "last will and testament," can help you protect your family and your property. You can use a will to:

  • leave your property to people or organizations
  • name a personal guardian to care for your minor children
  • name a trusted person to manage property you leave to minor children, and
  • name an executor, the person who makes sure that the terms of your will are carried out.

What Happens If I Don't Have a Will?

In Wyoming, if you die without a will, your property will be distributed according to state "intestacy" laws. Wyoming's intestacy law gives your property to your closest relatives, beginning with your spouse and children. If you have neither a spouse nor children, your grandchildren or your parents will get your property. This list continues with increasingly distant relatives, including siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews. If the court exhausts this list to find that you have no living relatives by blood or marriage, the state will take your property.

Do I Need a Lawyer to Make a Will in Wyoming?

No. You can make your own will in Wyoming, using Nolo's Quicken WillMaker & Trust. However, you may want to consult a lawyer in some situations. For example, if you think that your will might be contested or you have especially complicated goals, you should talk with an attorney. See Do I Need an Attorney to Make My Estate Plan?

What Are the Requirements for Making and Signing a Will in Wyoming?

To make a will in Wyoming, you must be:

  • an individual 18 years of age or older, and
  • of sound mind.

(Wyo. Stat. § 2-6-101 (2023).)

You must make your will on actual paper. It cannot be on an audio, video, or any other digital file. (Wyo. Stat. §§ 2-6-112 (2023).)

To finalize your will in Wyoming:

  • you must sign or acknowledge your will in front of two witnesses, and
  • your witnesses must sign your will.

(Wyo. Stat. § 2-6-112 (2023).)

Wyoming allows witnesses to witness the will signing or acknowledgment in real time through the use of audio-video communication technology. The remote witnesses also can sign the will electronically. (Wyo. Stat. § 2-6-112 (2023).)

Wyoming does permit handwritten ("holographic") wills, but they are usually not a good idea. Holographic wills in Wyoming do not need to be witnessed if you sign it and it is entirely in your handwriting. (Wyo. Stat. § 2-6-113 (2023).)

It's best to have "disinterested" witnesses who don't stand to inherit from you rather than "interested" witnesses who do, since interested witnesses can lose the gift you gave them. (Wyo. Stat. § 2-6-112 (2023).)

Do I Need to Have My Will Notarized?

No, in Wyoming, you do not need to notarize your will to make it legal.

However, Wyoming allows you to make your will "self-proving." and you'll need to use a notary if you want to do that. A self-proving will speeds up probate because the court can accept the will without contacting the witnesses who signed it. (Wyo. Stat. § 2-6-114 (2023).)

To make your will self-proving, you and your witnesses will use a notary. Notaries traditionally are physically present during the will signing. But Wyoming also allows notaries to remotely notarize a will in real time using audio-video technology. Whether you are using a remote notary or have a notary physically present, you and your witnesses will sign an affidavit that states who you are and that each of you knew you were signing the will. (Wyo. Stat. §§ 2-6-114; 32-3-102 (2023).)

Should My Will Name an Executor?

Yes. In Wyoming, you can use your will to name an executor who will ensure that the provisions in your will are carried out after your death. Quicken WillMaker & Trust produces a letter to your executor that generally explains what the job requires. If you don't name an executor, the probate court will appoint someone to take on the job of winding up your estate.

Can I Revoke or Change My Will?

In Wyoming, you may revoke or change your will at any time. You can revoke your will by:

  • burning, tearing, canceling, obliterating, or destroying your will with the intent to revoke it
  • ordering someone else to burn, tear, cancel, obliterate, or destroy your will in front of you, or
  • making a new will that says it revokes the old one or has contradictory terms to the old will.

(Wyo. Stat. § 2-6-117 (2023).)

If you and your spouse divorce (or your marriage is annulled), Wyoming law revokes any language in your will that leaves property to your spouse or names your spouse to be your executor. This rule does not apply if you specifically state in your will that divorce should not affect the provisions in your will or if you happen to remarry your spouse. If you have any concerns about the effects of divorce on your will, see an estate planning attorney for help. (Wyo. Stat. § 2-6-125 (2023).)

If you need to make changes to your will, it's best to revoke it and make a new one. However, if you have only very simple changes to make, you could add an amendment to your existing will – this is called a codicil. In either case, you will need to finalize your changes with the same formalities you used to make your original will (see above).

Can I Make a Digital or Electronic Will?

Wyoming currently does not allow electronic wills (also called "e-wills"). In a handful of states, you can make a legal will digitally—that is, you can make the will, sign it, and have it witnessed without ever printing it out. Such e-wills are currently available in only a minority of states, but many other states are considering making e-wills legal.

Although Wyoming doesn't allow e-wills, it does allow witnesses to sign with an electronic signature and for witnesses and notaries to appear remotely (discussed above).

Where Can I Find Wyoming's Laws About Making Wills?

You can find Georgia's laws about making wills here: Wyoming Statutes Title 2 Wills, Decedents' Estates and Probate Code Chapter 6 Wills.

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