When it comes to the law, there are a lot of myths and misperceptions floating around that many people believe, yet have no basis in reality. One of these myths involves Last Wills and Testaments, and states that you have to have your Will signed and sealed by a notary public. This is simply not true. There is no state that requires you to have your Will notarized.
- State Will Requirements. While some states allow for oral Wills or handwritten Wills, every state allows you to create a ill by detailing your choices in a written document. Once this document is completed you must then sign it and have it signed by two witnesses. As long as you meet these requirements your Will is valid. Having a document notarized will neither make it valid nor will it invalidate an already valid Will.
- Self-proving wills. Once you die, a probate court has to determine if your Will is valid. It will have to call the two witnesses into court to testify that they saw you sign the Will. However, you can avoid this process by having your Will accompanied by a self-proving affidavit. A self-proving affidavit is created when your witnesses swear before notary public that they saw you sign the Will. The notary will then confirm their identities and seal the affidavit with an official seal. This way, the court will not have to call the witnesses to testify.
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