Notarizing Wills – Necessary or Not?



Notarizing a Will – Necessary or Not?

A will is an intricate and sensitive legal document that can take different forms, depending on the various laws per state. Some wills require notarization by law while others do not and may become invalidated if they are notarized. Some states allow notarization as one of several witnessing options, which begs the question of whether California requires notarization or not.

Notarizing a Will in California

Students contact us and ask us if notarizing a will is required in their state. A will in California does not “need” notarization.¬†The state of California, however, does require that two, non-beneficiary witnesses sign the will. If you’re a student in California who is studying to become a Notary Public, it’s always best to consult with an attorney for additional information.

Will and Notarization FAQ

“What if I had my will notarized anyway?”

In some cases, people have wills notarized under the mistaken belief that doing so overrides the need for two witnesses to sign the will. When this happens, the will in question may become subject to specific problems.

For example, the signature of a notary public does not take the place of a competent witness by law. Having a legally valid, witnessed will means the document will contain an¬†attestation clause. Without any witnesses, this important clause won’t be present if notarization seeks to take the place of witnesses.


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