What validity does an unsigned Will hold?

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What validity does an unsigned Will hold?

My mom is unable to find a signed Will; it was notarized and signed 6 years ago.Does the unsigned copy have any validity or leverage in a court of law? Also, by law does the executor and/or notary have to have a copy?

Asked on December 11, 2017 under Estate Planning, Oregon

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

An unsigned Will has no legal force or effect. In order for a Will to be valid it must be signed by the testator (i.e. the person making it). Further, neither the notary or the executor need have a copy. You don't give much by way of details, so if the Will is your mother's she should have another one drafted and signed. If it is not hers, then she can see if a copy was deposited with the probate court for safekeeping. 

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

An unsigned Will has no legal force or effect. In order for a Will to be valid it must be signed by the testator (i.e. the person making it). Further, neither the notary or the executor need have a copy. You don't give much by way of details, so if the Will is your mother's she should have another one drafted and signed. If it is not hers, then she can see if a copy was deposited with the probate court for safekeeping. 


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