Can a relative sign as a witness in a will if not a beneficiary?

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Can a relative sign as a witness in a will if not a beneficiary?

My daughter is not a beneficiary on my parents
Will only a back up executor,can she sign as a
witness on their will in California?

Asked on July 30, 2017 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, she can sign. Anyone over 18 can be a witness to a will, including a back-up executor. You do not need to be a beneficiary to sign. However, it would be better if you find someone who has no connection at all to the will to sign: while it is legal for an executor or beneficiary to sign, if the person signing stands to benefit in any way from the will (including indirectly, by the power an executor has), that can leave the will more vulnterable to a challenge. Wholly disininterested parties make the best witnesses.


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