Does a will need to be notarized if it is altered by an executor? 11 Answers as of August 05, 2011

My aunt is 100, competent and cognizant, is in the hospital. Her executor came to her hospital bed with a new version of her will, entitling him to equal distribution for her other heirs. He brought his daughter to witness signatures. I do not know if his daughter is a notary. My aunt is now not happy about this.

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Burnham & Associates
Burnham & Associates | Stephanie K. Burnham
These circumstances sound suspicious and could be grounds for a challenge to the will later. If your aunt doesn't want the will she should either destroy it by tearing it up or sign a document in front of a notary revoking the will. A new will with revoking language would also work. Your aunt will need to be careful that if she revoked the will without a new one, her previous will may have been revoked and if she has specific requests she will need to sign a new version of her previous will.
Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
Replied: 8/5/2011
The Coyle Law Office
The Coyle Law Office | T. Andrew Coyle
Based on the facts you have provided, it sounds like the will prepared by her executor is invalid on many different levels. I think it is imperative that you hire an elder law attorney who can tell you what steps need to be taken right now to preserve your aunt's interests while she is alive and ensures that her wishes as to her estate are followed.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 8/3/2011
Martinson & Beason, PC
Martinson & Beason, PC | Douglas C Martinson II
Any change to a will requires 2 witnesses. If your aunt is still competent, she can change the Codicil with an attorney to insure that it is properly done and there is an independent witness that this is what she wants.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 8/2/2011
Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
In Indiana, a will is not valid unless two disinterested witnesses sign it in the presence of the testatatrix (your aunt) who signs it in their presence. A notary public is not required and by iteslef, insufficient.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 8/2/2011
Ashman Law Office
Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
Wills are not "altered by executors." That is irrelevant. It depends on whether she has mental capacity to do a will. If she is actually unhappy and has mental capacity, she can make a new will. Wills do NOT have to get notarized (although a notarized self-proving page is smart, as it simplifies probate). She should contact a lawyer to do a will properly. Forms are usually inadequate.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 8/2/2011
    Law Offices of Timothy G. Kearney, LLC
    Law Offices of Timothy G. Kearney, LLC | Timothy G. Kearney
    There are really several questions that need to be answered. 1) Was your aunt aware that she was changing her will or was she the subject of undue influence 2) Does the new will conform to the laws of your state in terms of witnesses and acknowledgment. You should consult with an attorney who can advise you.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    In California the will does not need to be notarized. However, the will needs to be witnessed and signed by two witnesses. If she wants to revoke the will, she can, but should do so in writing and should consult with an attorney to do this right and untangle this.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Law Offices of Brian Chew
    Law Offices of Brian Chew | Brian Chew
    Wills in California are not notarized. Unless the will is in the persons handwriting, a will requires two witnesses who have no potential interest in the estate.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Apple Law Firm PLLC
    Apple Law Firm PLLC | David Goldman
    Assuming everything else is ok with the document, it only needs your Aunt's signature and two witnesses. While a notary can help with proving the will, it is not necessary.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/2/2011
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