Do dates on a codicil between testator and witnesses need to be the same?

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Do dates on a codicil between testator and witnesses need to be the same?

If a testator writes a codicil to their will, and dates it example 1-1-19, but the two ‘witnesses’ do not sign and date it until 1-8-19, is it a valid codicil? It would seem obvious that the witnesses did not see the testator write it, and don’t know mental condition at the time, duress, etc.?

Asked on July 30, 2019 under Estate Planning, Colorado

Answers:

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

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

The date of the codicil itself is not the issue. Rather, did the witnesses personaly observe the testator signing it? If so, then the codicil was legally executed and is therefore valid and enforceable.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

Witnesses must watch the testator sign: if the witnesses signed the document at a later date (after the testator had signed), then the codicil to the will was not properly executed and witnessed. The issue is not the date of the codicil, which may have, for example, been dated in anticipate of it being signed that day, but due to one reason or another, it was in fact signed at a later date; the issue is, did the testator sign in front of the witnesses or not?


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