If my husband recently died and we have Wills that were wittnessed but not notarized, what do I do with the Will now?

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If my husband recently died and we have Wills that were wittnessed but not notarized, what do I do with the Will now?

Asked on December 29, 2011 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The fact of the matter is that a Will need not be notarized. However, it must be witnessed. The number of witnesses to a Will differs - sometimes it's 2 and sometimes it's 3 (it varies from state to state).

However, if you also have 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 makes things easier and saves on expenses if the witnesses do in fact have to be tracked down). However, such an affidavit is not a requirement.

Bottom line, as long as your huband's Will was validly drated and executed it need not have been notarized. Accordingly, it can be entered for probate in the county in which your husband was domiciled at the date of his death.


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