If I just received my father’s Will, is it valid if the 2 witnesse’s signatures were dated 7 months prior to when my father signed?

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If I just received my father’s Will, is it valid if the 2 witnesse’s signatures were dated 7 months prior to when my father signed?

I just received my fathers will was signed in October 6 years ago but after his signature is the signature of 2 witnesses dated February of that year? This Will appears to be invalid, am I correct?

Asked on June 14, 2013 under Estate Planning, New York

Answers:

Tricia Dwyer / Tricia Dwyer Esq & Associates PLLC

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Hello. It would appear that the will would not be valid were the testator's signing not have been witnessed. Please contact a private attorney in the involved state to address your legal needs and interests. Some attorneys are available seven days for emergency legal needs. Many attorneys will confer initially at no charge. Then, if legal work is performed, some attorneys will provide a reduced fee for financial hardship. Some attorneys may also assist you in limited scope manner to conserve legal costs. All the best.

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The Will was not legally executed. The fact is that a Will must be witnessed. Since the witness signatures pre-dated the testator's (i.e. your father), then there was nothing to witness when the so-called "witnesses" signed. Accordingly, the Will was not validly executed. Frankly based on these facts, while this may have been a simple misunderstanding, it may have also be indicative of something unsavory going on regarding his estate. You may want to consult with a probate attorney on this.


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