Tip 1: Choose the right witnesses.
A self-proving affidavit that accompanies your last will and testament makes it much easier for a court to determine that your will is valid. When creating a self-proving affidavit, your witnesses will have to sign a sworn document in the presence of a licensed public notary. Those witnesses must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind. It’s also a good idea to make sure that the witnesses are not related to you and that they do not stand to inherit anything from your will.
Tip 2: Schedule a signing ceremony.
Your witnesses must see you sign your will and then sign it in your presence. They can then sign the self-proving affidavit that states that they witnessed you sign the document. While this might sound complicated, it’s actually very easy to do, especially when you assemble everyone at the same place to sign all the required documents. Such a gathering is often called the signing ceremony, and your estate planning attorney can coordinate it for you.
Tip 3: Bring identification
A person who creates a will, known as a testator, does not need to notarize the will itself. However, to create the self-proving affidavit, the witnesses must bring identification so the notary can identify them as the people they claim to be. It’s usually enough to bring a birth certificate or drivers license, but if you are unsure of what kind of identification the witnesses need to bring you should call your lawyer and ask.
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