This page is part of our instructions for drafting your own simple will under the laws of Washington State. We wrote these instructions for a very specific audience, and they may be completely wrong as applied to you.

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The title is the very first part of the simple will, written at the very top of the very first page. The title identifies the document as a will, and it says whose will the document is.

Required Reading

Format of the Title

Traditionally, the title of a will is written at the top of the first page of the will, using centered text, in all capital letters, in bold font, and using three lines of double-spaced text. (See the example, below, for how to arrange the words.) This prominent way of writing the title sets the title’s text visually apart from the rest of the will. When a title is in this format, it adds a sense of seriousness to the document.

Use Your Full Legal Name

Throughout your simple will, including in its title, it is important to use your full legal name. Using your full legal name makes it less likely that your simple will could be confused with wills made by people who share parts of your name. For example, the “Last Will & Testament of John M. Doe” could belong to John Michael Doe, John Mason Doe, or any number of other John M. Does. Use of the middle initial instead of the middle name can lead to confusion, so we recommend that you include your middle name in the title of your will, not just your middle initial. If your legal name includes multiple middle names or multiple last names, you should include all of them. Do not use a nickname or a shortened version of your full legal name, even if you prefer people to call you by a name other than your full legal name.

Your full legal name is your name as it appears on your birth certificate or, if you have legally changed your name, through a marriage certificate or a court proceeding, it is your name as it appears on the marriage certificate or on the court order changing your name, whichever is most recent.

Write Your Title

Open your copy of the simple will template. Edit the title of your simple will so that it uses the following format, replacing the highlighted text with your full legal name.




Example of a Title

Below is an example of how the title of a simple will would look for a testator named Jane Marie Doe.




After you have written the title of your simple will, go back to the list of instructions.
Back to the List