Does A Will Need To Be Notarized?
By NotaryLive Staff
Published on 01/28/2021
At some point, everyone will have some sort of involvement with a will. Whether it’s because writing their own, or bearing witness to the signing, or the execution of someone else’s.
But where does notarization come into play? Does a will need to be notarized in order to be considered valid? The short answer is no, a will doesn’t need to be notarized; however, there can be considerable benefits to having a notary on hand during a will-signing ceremony.
For a will to be considered valid, there are a few things that have to happen. Witnesses must be present for the execution of the will. They swear a series of statements like that they saw the testator sign the will, and that the signer is who he/ she claims to be. After that, the witnesses also sign the will.
So where does the notary come in, you ask?
A notary public is needed for the witnesses to complete self-proving affidavits. These are additional documents that attach to the will and make it self-proving. Witnesses must swear to the notary that they witnessed the execution and attest to all of the witness statements. When a will is self-proving, it removes the need for the witnesses to appear in court during probate, which can save interested parties lots of time and money. For this reason, completing self-proving affidavits with a notary is common practice with most attorneys at will execution ceremonies.
If the will in question happens to be a holographic will (entirely handwritten), it’s actually better not to notarize it, as having a holographic will notarized can actually invalidate it in some states. Before executing a will, it’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with your specific state’s laws concerning the practice.
A will does not have to be notarized, but it sure helps to speed things along once it goes to court.
Updated Date: 03/31/2023