Notarizing Wills: Is it Necessary?

If you create a will, you will need to take the special actions necessary to make it valid. Notaries are often useful in giving legal effect to official documents, but you do not need to notarize your will in order for it to be valid. This should act as a benefit for you, as it can be difficult to locate a notary and expensive to have the notary come and sign your document to officially state that it is notarized.

All state legislation on making will varies. This means that while notarizing a will may have no effect in one state, it may be of a benefit in another. In some states, if you have a notary sign a notarized affidavit that will accompany your will, it can save time in the probate process in the future. However, it is never absolutely mandatory to get your will notarized.

The basic foundation for enforceable wills in most states includes a typed or handwritten will and the signature of the will writer (testator) near the bottom. The signing party also needs to include the date that the will was signed. There may also need to be signatures of at least two other witnesses. The will needs to be witnessed by at least two people who will receive no benefit from the will and can sign in the presence of the testator.

These witnesses are there to attest that the will was freely and voluntarily signed by the testator and that he was of sound mind at the time of creating the will. All witnesses must be at least 18 years old. Sometimes, witnesses may need to sign a self-proving affidavit. This will require a notary. This is a sworn statement that everything you and your witnesses signed was valid. It may come in handy during the probate process.

If a witness can't be located then a notarized affidavit can suffice. Not all states allow for these affidavits, so it's important that you do your research before opting for this option. These also must be dated. In most cases, wills that contain these elements will be enforced as valid. There is no requirement that the will be notarized. This is not the same for all estate planning documents. For example, if you create a living trust, you will need to get it notarized.

If you are curious about notaries and whether or not you should commit to hiring one, then you need to talk with a local attorney today! With the right lawyer on your side, you may be able to seek assistance in your case and get the trusted advice that you need to make sure your will is valid. Use this directory to locate a trusted probate professional to help you today!