The Vermont Statutes Online
Title 14: Decedents Estates and Fiduciary Relations
Chapter 001: WILLS
§ 1. Who may make
Every individual 18 years of age or over or emancipated by court order who is of sound mind may make a will in writing. (Amended 2017, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)
§ 2. Deposit of will for safekeeping; delivery; final disposition
(a) A will may be deposited for safekeeping in the Probate Division of the Superior Court for the district in which the testator resides on payment to the court of the applicable fee required by 32 V.S.A. § 1434(a)(17). The register shall give to the testator a receipt, shall safely keep each will so deposited, and shall keep an index of the wills so deposited.
(b) Each will so deposited shall be enclosed in a sealed envelope on which is written the name and address of the testator and the names and addresses of the executors named in the will. The will shall not be opened until it is delivered to a person entitled to receive it or until otherwise disposed of by the court.
(c) During the life of the testator, that will shall be delivered only to the testator or in accordance with the testator’s order in writing duly acknowledged or otherwise proved to the satisfaction of the court, but the testator’s duly authorized legal guardian or attorney-in-fact may at any time inspect and copy the will in the presence of the judge or register.
(e) Except as provided in this section, wills deposited for safekeeping or any index of wills so deposited are not open to public inspection during the life of the testator. (Amended 1961, No. 122, eff. May 16, 1961; 1971, No. 105, § 1; 1985, No. 144 (Adj. Sess.), § 11; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 238a, eff. Feb. 1, 2011; 2011, No. 33, § 11b; 2017, No. 28, § 2, eff. May 10, 2017; 2017, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)
§ 3. Will may pass all property and after-acquired property
A will may provide for the passage of all property the testator owns at death and all property acquired by the estate after the testator’s death. (Amended 2017, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)
§ 4. Repealed. 2017, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.
§ 5. Execution of will; requisites
(a) A will shall be:
(1) in writing;
(2) signed in the presence of two or more credible witnesses by the testator or in the testator’s name by some other person in the testator’s presence and by the testator’s express direction; and
(3) attested and subscribed by the witnesses in the presence of the testator and each other.
(b) During the period that the Emergency Administrative Rules for Remote Notarial Acts adopted by the Vermont Secretary of State (the Emergency Rules) are in effect, the witnesses to a will signed in conformity with the Emergency Rules and pursuant to the self-proving will provisions of section 108 of this title shall be considered to be in the presence of the testator and each other whether or not the witnesses are physically present with the testator or the notary. (Amended 2005, No. 106 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2017, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2019, No. 96 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. April 28, 2020.)
§ 6. Repealed. 2017, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.
§ 7. How made by soldier or sailor; military will
(a) The provisions of this chapter shall not prevent a person in active military service from disposing of his or her estate as he or she might otherwise have done.
(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a military will prepared and executed in compliance with, and containing a provision stating that the will is prepared pursuant to, 10 U.S.C. § 1044d shall be deemed to be legally executed and shall be of the same force and effect as if executed in the mode prescribed by the laws of this State. (Amended 2005, No. 7, § 1, eff. April 21, 2005; 2017, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)
§ 8. Repealed. 2017, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.
§ 9. Repealed. 1967, No. 329 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. March 23, 1968.
§ 10. Devise or legacy to witness
Any beneficial devise or legacy made or given in a will to a subscribing witness to the will or to the spouse of a subscribing witness shall be voidable unless there are two other competent, subscribing witnesses to the will. Notwithstanding this section, a provision in the will for payment of a debt shall not be void or disqualify the creditor as a witness to the will. (Amended 2017, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)
§ 11. How revoked
(a)(1) A will is revoked:
(A) by executing a subsequent will that revokes the previous will expressly or by inconsistency; or
(B) by performing a revocatory act on the will, if the testator performed the act with the intent and for the purpose of revoking the will or part or if another individual performed the act in the testator’s conscious presence and by the testator’s direction.
(2) As used in this subsection, “revocatory act on the will” includes burning, tearing, canceling, obliterating, or destroying the will or any part of it. A burning, tearing, or canceling is a revocatory act on the will, whether or not the burn, tear, or cancellation touched any of the words on the will.
(b) The testator is presumed to have intended a subsequent will to replace rather than supplement a previous will if the subsequent will makes a complete disposition of the testator’s estate. If this presumption arises and is not rebutted by clear and convincing evidence, the previous will is revoked and only the subsequent will is operative on the testator’s death.
(c) The testator is presumed to have intended a subsequent will to supplement rather than replace a previous will if the subsequent will does not make a complete disposition of the testator’s estate. If this presumption arises and is not rebutted by clear and convincing evidence, the subsequent will revokes the previous will only to the extent the subsequent will is inconsistent with the previous will, and each will is fully operative on the testator’s death to the extent they are not inconsistent. (Amended 2017, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)