Does my Last Will and Testament need to be notarized and why? 23 Answers as of July 16, 2015

I plan on having two people witness my signing of my Last Will and Testament. Does it need to be notarized?

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LAW OFFICE OF ROBERT I LONG
LAW OFFICE OF ROBERT I LONG | Robert I. Long
No, not normally, although I can envision a special will designed to be recorded requiring a Notary acknowledgment.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/16/2015
S. Joseph Schramm | Joseph Schramm
In Pennsylvania a will does not need to be notarized to be valid. In fact, Pennsylvania is the only state where a will does not even have to have witnesses to be valid so long as two persons can attest to the testator's (testatrix's) signature at the time of probate. That said, it is often better for the testator (yourself, in this case) and the witnesses execute an affidavit before a notary public attesting to your legal capacity at the time you executed the will. The reason for this is to avoid the potential crisis of trying to locate the witnesses years later when the will is being offered for probate.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 7/9/2015
O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C.
O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C. | Sean P. O'Keefe
In Maryland, no, one's Last Will and Testament does not need to be notarized.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 7/9/2015
Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
No, wills do not need to be notarized.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 7/9/2015
Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
No, Your signature isn't notarized. Your two witnesses make an affidavit that says they saw you sign, you appeared to be of age and not under duress, that both witnesses were in the room and saw you sign and each saw the other sign as a witness. This is their testimony about the execution of your will, and makes the will "self-proving:" when the affidavit is presented along with the will, it is acceptable to the court without the need to have the witnesses actually appear in court and testify about the signing. Being a sworn statement, the affidavit of the witnesses must be notarized. Oregon doesn't recognize holographic wills, so the form of signing and witnessing has to be perfect for the will to be valid.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 7/9/2015
    Law Office Of Victor Waid
    Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
    No notary. Just two witnesses who see you sign the will after you have declared to them that it your last will and testament. Notarys are ineffective as witnesses, and are not recognized in California as witness to your will.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/9/2015
    Law Offices of Richard M. Levy P.C.
    Law Offices of Richard M. Levy P.C. | Richard M. Levy
    The will does not need to be notarized but the witnesses should also be signing a subscribing witness affidavit which does need to be notarized. You should not be doing this by yourself. Hire a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/9/2015
    Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
    Not in California. ?If everything on the page is in your own handwriting [absolutely nothing typed or pre-printed] then you do not need any witnesses, but it does not hurt.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/9/2015
    R. Steven Chambers PLLC | R. Steven Chambers PLLC
    Yes, it does need to be notarized. The reason is that is what state law requires.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 7/9/2015
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Depending on the state, a will may or may not have to be notarized.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/9/2015
    Law Office of T. Phillip Boggess | T. Phillip Boggess
    A notary makes the Will self-proving. Without it, there is a strong possibility that the court will want to verify the signatures of the witnesses which may require affidavits from the witnesses after the testator dies.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 7/9/2015
    Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
    Notarization adds nothing; two witnesses are required (and make sure they are not beneficiaries).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/9/2015
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    You need an affidavit signed by you and the witnesses and, then notarized. There is no other way to show that you were the person issuing the will and, that the witnesses saw you freely sign it.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/9/2015
    Law Office of Patricia A. Simmons
    Law Office of Patricia A. Simmons | Patrica A Simmons
    California wills do not need to be notarized. However, they must be witnessed by two disinterested individuals (who will not receive anything from the will), they must be over the age of 18. They should witness your signing the will.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/8/2015
    Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
    The will does not have to be notarized, but it won't hurt that it is. However the two witnesses are necessary, per FS 532.502 1(a)2(b)2(b).
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/8/2015
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd.
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd. | Randall C. Romei
    The statute requires that the will be signed in the presence of two witnesses. The witnesses must also sign the will. The notary acknowledgement assists in proving the will before the court and is not required.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 7/8/2015
    Wellerstein Law Group, P.C.
    Wellerstein Law Group, P.C. | Elisha Wellerstein
    No, it does not. The two witnesses are needed.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/8/2015
    Law Offices of Robert P Bergman
    Law Offices of Robert P Bergman | Robert P. Bergman
    Not in California.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/8/2015
    Patrick W. Currin, Attorney at Law | Patrick Currin
    No, but it's not a bad idea.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/8/2015
    Sebby Law Office
    Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
    It depends upon the law of the state in which you reside. But generally, it is a very good idea to have all estate planning documents notarized to avoid questions at a later date about your intent or the validity of the document.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 7/8/2015
    Attorney At Law | James G. Maguire
    If it is a typed (Louisiana notarial) will, it does need to be notarized. If it is a handwritten will, no witnesses or notary are necessary.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 7/8/2015
    Martin Barnes - Attorney at Law
    Martin Barnes - Attorney at Law | Martin Barnes
    There is no requirement to notarize your Last Will and Testament. However, it is very important that the language surrounding the Witness' attestations be drafted properly. Also, there is some optional additional language that should be added following the Witness' attestation that will simplify probate (proving) when the Will is submitted for probate. Your Indiana Attorney will know the proper way to draft this language. Some of the ancillary documents that often accompany the Will (for example a Durable Power of Attorney, or the appointment of a Health Care Representative) do require Notarization.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 7/8/2015
    Irsfeld, Irsfeld & Younger LLP | Norman H. Green
    Do not notarize. Notarizing add NOTHING to a will.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/8/2015
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