Witnesses to a Will
A significant piece of validating a will is verifying that the will was properly witnessed. If you or a loved one has a will more than five years old, consult with a lawyer to verify it won’t be invalidated because of insufficient proof of who witnessed the signing of the will.
The witnesses to the will are as critical to the validation process as your signature at the bottom of the will. Today, most wills come with documents (self-proving affidavits) to prove the identity of those who witnessed the will. Without that documentation, the executor has to track down the witnesses and provide proof of their identity.
Without the self-proving affidavits, there are legal options to prove the identity of the witnesses even if they have passed away. While time consuming and expensive, verification by a hand-writing specialist is generally acceptable by modern probate courts.
If you’ve gone through the trouble of having written a will, ask a legal professional to review your will and ensure the witness verification paperwork is sufficient. If you don’t have a will, or your will is out of date, hire an estate attorney to guide you through the logistics of creating an iron-clad document.