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  • Witnesses to a will?

    Hi,

    I just made an online will today. On the instructions, it says I must have two witnesses be present with me at the notary's office while I sign the will. Is this common for each state?

    The issue I'm running into is that I'm a new intern and don't exactly know people in the area who I would feel comfortable asking to go to a notary's office while they witness me signing my will. The only people I know so far are the people in my program.

    Will a notary office have people who can also serve as a witness? Or must I find two people of whom I don't know very well to be present during the signing?

  • #2
    In Arizona it’s a notary OR two witnesses, but not both, so I’d check to make sure that whatever state you’re in you actually need both.

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    • #3
      I just read the statute on wills in my state and it appears that you need either two witnesses or a notary for the will to be valid, but the validity could be contested in court.

      if you don’t want the validity of the will to be contested in court, then you have to self-prove the will with two witnesses in the presence of a notary.

      I think I’ll skip the self-proving thing for now. No one will question my being of sound mind. And my will is pretty simple, not much assets, and leaving everything to my close family. I doubt anyone in my family would contest it.

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      • #4
        Check with the notary. I use my bank or attorney. The attorney provides witnesses, not sure about the bank. I would be perfectly happy grabbing two strangers or letting the bank provide. They do not need to read the document, they witness the signature only. Same thing happens in hospitals when witnesses are necessary. By they way, your hospital probably has some one that is a notary. They would grab the first 2 and say sign here. It is a common issue. You probably don’t need to bring two people.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Romberg45 View Post
          Hi,

          I just made an online will today. On the instructions, it says I must have two witnesses be present with me at the notary's office while I sign the will. Is this common for each state?

          The issue I'm running into is that I'm a new intern and don't exactly know people in the area who I would feel comfortable asking to go to a notary's office while they witness me signing my will. The only people I know so far are the people in my program.

          Will a notary office have people who can also serve as a witness? Or must I find two people of whom I don't know very well to be present during the signing?
          you are in Minnesota.
          googling will requirements for MN.
          so you need to meet those requirements....

          "The basic requirements for a Minnesota last will and testament include the following:
          • Age: The testator must be at least 18 years old.
          • Capacity: The testator must be of sound mind.
          • Signature: The will must be signed by the testator or by someone else in the testator’s name in his presence, by his direction. A conservator may also sign the will pursuant to a court order.
          • Witnesses: A Minnesota will must be signed by at least two individuals who have witnessed either the signing of the will or the testator’s acknowledgement of the signature or the will.
          • Writing: A Minnesota will must be in writing.
          • Beneficiaries: A testator can leave property to anyone."

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          • #6
            Generally speaking, there can be good, better and best when it comes to executing wills. Start with the state statutes and go from there on how you execute it. Some clients I have to be more careful with than others when it comes to preparing their documents, depending on their circumstances. Often, going to your bank with a friend who's not inheriting from you and pulling in a teller or 2 (after having carefully reviewed the laws) can get the job done. If you have sensitive circumstances in various ways, look into those more and perhaps seek out a short consult.

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            • #7
              Could notarize it AAA and they will just get a couple employees to witness.

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