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Notarize a Will

A last will and testament is a complex and sensitive legal document that can take different forms, depending on state law. Some wills legally require notarization, some do not and may actually be invalidated if they are notarized, and some allow notarization as one of several witnessing options. Often, it is the signatures of witnesses to the will that will be notarized rather than that of the maker of the will, known as the testator.

Notaries must proceed carefully when asked to notarize a will, which can be invalidated by the slightest variance from strict statutory rules. A will should never be notarized if the testator is asking the Notary questions about how to proceed. Rather, the testator should be following authoritative legal instructions and a certificate or certificates must be provided for the Notary to complete.

Notaries must never offer advice on how to execute a will, because they could be held liable for a named beneficiary's failure to inherit assets if the will is improperly done and therefore invalidated.

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