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2 things to remember about witnesses when signing a will

If you've finally completed the task of drafting your last will and testament, congratulations. Countless people forego this important life responsibility, and they leave their relatives facing serious challenges after they're gone. Now that you've appropriately and lawfully drafted your will, however, it's time to sign or "execute" the document -- which means that you need to gather your witnesses.

Here are two things to consider regarding witnesses while signing your will:

1. Make sure the appropriate witnesses are present.

Every time someone signs and dates a new will, it's necessary to have witnesses. Depending on the state where you live, you may need to have two or three witnesses present during the singing. In Arizona, two witnesses are required.

These witnesses should watch you sign and date your will, and then they will sign and date it. The witnesses should be at least 18 years or older, they should not be heirs of the will, and neither should be a lawyer who helped write the will.

2. Consider a self-proving affidavit for your witnesses:

A self-proving affidavit is helpful to the witnesses of your will because it means that they will not need to swear before a probate court that your will is valid. To create a self-proving affidavit, your witnesses will sign a statement in front of a notary public.

The witnesses' role during the signing of your will is important. Therefore, you may want to consult with a qualified Arizona estate planning attorney to ensure that your selected witnesses are qualified to validate this important legal document and that they do so correctly.

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  • State Bar of Arizona
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  • Oregon State bar
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  • NACA | National Association of Consumer Advocates
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