If a Will is only notarized and not signed by witnesses, is it still valid?

Can it be contested?

Asked on September 19, 2015 under Estate Planning, Arizona

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

A Will need not be notarized in order to be valid. Sometimes there is something known as a "self-proving Will" or "self-proving affidavit" which is attached to the Will that must be notarized. If the self-proving Will/affidavit is not executed the Will itself still stands, only the self-proving aspect fails.
Note A self-proving Will, or a self-proving affidavit attached to a Will, certifies that the witnesses and testator i.e. maker properly signed the Will. A self-proving Will/affidavit makes it easy for the court to accept the document as the true Will of the testator, avoiding the delay and cost of locating witnesses at the time of probate.
As for your specific situation, in order to be clear of your rights under specific state law, you may want to consult directly with a probate attorney. Theycan best advise you further.


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