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About witnessing a will contest

Often times people wonder if a self-typed will is legal and if the executor can also serve as a witness. These questions are not that hard to answer but some requirements may vary from one state to the other. [Related topic: Probate attorney]


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In general, for a will to be valid, it must be executed in writing. Under certain circumstances, some states will recognize a verbal will, also known as a nuncupative will, but it’s important to keep in mind that nuncupative wills are so rare that is highly unlikely you’ll run into such a case.

Putting aside, nuncupative wills most states prefer and in some cases demand wills to be in writing, but they don’t necessarily care about who types them. So if you want to type or handwrite your own will, feel free to do so. There may be a couple of things about the wording and the phrasing that you should discuss with a lawyer to ensure it’s properly written but basically, anyone can write their own will.

Wills are normally required to be witnessed by two people, and these two individuals must be disinterested witnesses. A notary isn’t required to make a will valid but if you want to involve one just in case, it won’t hurt the execution, however, it is not necessary.

The disinterested witnesses, on the other hand, are key. It is crucial that the witnesses don’t take anything under the will, which means you shouldn’t leave stuff to the person witnessing your will. Otherwise, the testamentary provision that the testator included for the witness can be invalidated.