Is a non-notarized Will still classed as legal?

My father has named me as executor of his estate upon his death. I am also a beneficiary. I know the will he’s completed is signed but not notarized. If he were to die, before having the will notarized, would it be classed as legal? 

Asked on July 19, 2010 under Estate Planning, Michigan

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

A Will need not be notarized.  It must however, be witnessed.  The number of witnesses to a Will varies among jurisdictions; sometimes it's 2 and sometimes it's 3.  Just be sure to comply with state requirements as to this.

However, it someone has what is known as a "self-proving affidavit", that must be notarized.  This affidavit does away with the need to locate the witnesses when the Will is entered into probate.  It's a good idea to have one; it will make things easier and save on expenses if the witnesses do in fact have to be tracked down.


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