VT Senate Bill 29 | NNA
Law

VT Senate Bill 29

Notary Law Update: VT Senate Bill 29

State: Vermont

Summary:

Senate Bill 29 allows an individual's last will and testament to be self-proved before a Notary or other oath-administering official.

Signed:  May 30, 2018

Effective:  July 01, 2018

Chapter: TBD

Affects:

Amends Section 108 of Title 14, Chapter 3 of the Vermont Statutes Annotated.

Changes:
  1. Allows a last will to be self-proved as to its execution, by the sworn acknowledgement of the testator and the witnesses, made before a Notary or other official authorized to administer oaths in the place of execution in the following circumstances: (a) the testator signed the instrument as the testator’s will or expressly directed another to sign for the testator in the presence of two witnesses; (b) the signing was the testator’s free and voluntary act for the purposes expressed in the will (c) each witness signed at the request of the testator, in the testator’s presence, and in the presence of the other witness; and (d) to the best knowledge of each witness at the time of the signing, the testator was at least 18 years of age or emancipated by court.
Analysis:

A "self-proved" will is a will that is accompanied by affidavits of the testator and witnesses to the will. These affidavits are typically sworn to or acknowledged, as is the case under Senate Bill 29. These self-proving affidavits are desirable since when a will is entered into probate, the witnesses will be required to testify that they witnessed the will being signed. If the witnesses are unavailable or deceased, this can become an issue for probating the will. The self-proving affidavits provide testimony before the fact. Notaries who notarize these self-proving affidavits should note two of the requirements for a self-proving will, namely, that the testator must acknowledge signing the will as the testator's free and voluntary act and that the testator signed the will or expressly directed someone to sign the will for him or her. 

Read the bill text.

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