Should my husband make a new will?

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Should my husband make a new will?

My husband and I are from Iowa. I signed my husband’s will as a witness.
Neither of us have children. Should he make another will with someone else as
witness?

Asked on February 16, 2019 under Estate Planning, Iowa

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Technically, since you don't have an children and thus would inherit his estate under the rules for "intestate succession" if there were no will, you can be a witness, even though you have an interest in the will's validity. In your state, if the witness is receiving an amount equal to or less than what they would inherit if there was no will, the fact that they are interested in the outcome does not affect anything, under the theory that if they are getting no more than they'd get anyway, there is no incentive for them to lie, commit fraud, etc.
That said, it always looks better to have disinsterested witnesses, and having an interested witness can cause some delays in probate if, for some reason, someone (someone else who thinks they should inherit for some reason and wants to challenge the will; an overzealour probate court clerk or judge, who wants to make sure everything is on the up and up; etc.) challenges having an interest witness. So it would be a better idea to create a new will--it can be the same exact one, of course, if you and he like the terms--with disinterested witnesses.


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