Is an un-notarized will valid? 16 Answers as of February 17, 2012

My great aunt recently passed. She has no children. My father took care of her and all her properties her entire life. They shared one mutual bank account. She had a will and it was implied he would continue to take care of her properties. The will was not witnessed by a notary. Is it valid?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
It depends on the law of the state in which the Will was executed, but generally, the validity of the Will does not require the witnessing of a notary public.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 11/18/2011
Martin Barnes - Attorney at Law
Martin Barnes - Attorney at Law | Martin Barnes
There are formalities that are expected to accompany the execution of a will, including proper witnessing. The validity of the will is determined by an appropriate court. However, a will prepared and executed in Indiana need not be notarized. I advise you to seek the assistance of an Indiana attorney in the administration of your Aunt's estate.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 11/17/2011
THE HUBBARD LAW FIRM, P.C.
THE HUBBARD LAW FIRM, P.C. | Donald B. Lawrence, Jr.
A will does not have to be notarized to be valid. If it can be proven that the document was intended by the decedent as a will and the decedent's signature can be validated, a court could admit the will to probate after notice was given to all parties listed in the statute as being entitled to notice. It is unclear from the information provided as to how the Court would rule on the issue of him being granted authority by the court to administer the estate.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 11/16/2011
Ashman Law Office
Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
Most states do not require a notary. Although a notary in many states makes a will easier to probate. Whether the will is valid depends on other facts you did not tell us.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 11/15/2011
Siegel & Siegel, P.C. | Sharon M. Siegel
No, it is not valid if there are no witnesses. Witnesses do not need to be notaries.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 11/15/2011
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    It is not necessary that a will be notarized; it is CRUCIAL that it be witnessed by two people, who both are in the room and see the testator (and each other) as the will is signed. If there is no affidavit of witnesses to the will (which is the piece that gets notarized) then at least one of the witnesses must be available to come into court and testify that he or she witnessed testator signing the will.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 11/15/2011
    The Center for Elder Law
    The Center for Elder Law | Don Rosenberg
    A will does not need to be notarized but does need to be witnessed by 2 independent witnesses.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/15/2011
    Paul Nidich, Attorney at law
    Paul Nidich, Attorney at law | Paul Nidich
    A will in Ohio does not have to be notarized. Instead, it needs to be witnessed by two individuals who sign the will in the presence of the person creating the will and in the presence of each other. If this is done, the will is valid. Note: This is not true for all states.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 11/15/2011
    Bullivant Houser Bailey PC
    Bullivant Houser Bailey PC | Darin Christensen
    The will is still valid if it was signed by two witnesses. However, without a notary, you will need to provide an affidavit from one of the witnesses or take other steps to authenticate the signature.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 11/15/2011
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law | Charles M. Schiff
    Yes, the Will needs to be signed by the Testator and witnessed by two people who are not beneficiaries under the Will. The notarization of signatures is intended solely to make the Will "self-proving". This means that no witness to the Will needs to testify in court to prove the Will if the witness and Testator signatures are notarized.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 11/15/2011
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    That depends on the state, as the probate laws of the state control as to what is required to create a valid will. But as a generalization, a typewritten will does not have to be notarized, but in most states it does have to be witnessed by two witnesses who sign on the will as a witness.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/15/2011
    THE BROOME LAW FIRM, LLC
    THE BROOME LAW FIRM, LLC | Barry D. Broome
    If the Will had two witnesses it can be probated. The witnesses would have to sign an affidavit that they witnessed the will signing.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 11/15/2011
    Harville-Stein Law Offices, LLC
    Harville-Stein Law Offices, LLC | Dean D. Stein
    While it is not recommended if you are making a will, awill that isnot notarized can be a valid will. It takes more effort to get such a will probated, as testimony of the witnesses must be taken. The person making the will, known as the testator or testatrix if female, must have signed the will in the presence ofat least two witnesses, who then must also have signed the will.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 11/15/2011
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
    If the Will meets the other requirements and is witnessed by two disinterested persons, of which you can locate one to sign an appropriate affidavit, the Will may be valid. If it is not witnessed and is solely in her own handwriting, and the will is dated, signed and sets froth that it intends to dispose of her property upon her death, it may be valid as a holographic Will. You should probably speak with an attorney and have the Will reviewed.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 11/15/2011
    Broad Law Firm, LLC
    Broad Law Firm, LLC | Donald K. Broad
    Every state has different rules on how wills are to be properly authenticated. For instance, in Indiana, a will does not need to be notarized at all, but must be witnessed by two disinterested persons in the presence of each other at the time that the will is signed. However, your state may have different rules. You should consult with an estate planning attorney in the state in which the will was executed to be certain.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 2/17/2012
    Law Office of J. Brian Thomas
    Law Office of J. Brian Thomas | J. Brian Thomas
    The law varies from one state to another. In Texas, for example, a notary's signature is not needed in order for a Will to be valid. You might, however, find a notary's signature appearing on a Self-Proving Affidavit, which is typically attached to a Will. The affidavit can prevent the need for any of the witnesses to the Will to be physically present to offer their testimony in Court when the Will is offered for admission to probate.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 11/15/2011
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney