Washington Law Review


Lynn B. Squires


The purpose of this Comment is to present a simple will form that is both sophisticated in substance and simple in form. The lawyer's substantive task—to provide a legally valid instrument disposing of the testator's property—is not especially difficult given the many adequate forms available. The task of simplifying the form—to provide a self-explanatory memorandum that the testator can understand—is more difficult given the nature of the available forms. The authors' intent is, first, to provide a simplified will form in which every word is comprehensible to a lay client, and, second, to suggest ways of simplifying other types of wills. A will is a highly personal document. Not only should the testator understand it, but he or she should also be able to explain its contents to others, especially family members who may be affected by it. Even when lawyers try to draft simple wills, however, they often find it difficult to use clear, simple language.

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