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What Form Is Needed To Notarize A Will?

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Updated 7-6-18. If asked to notarize a will, what form do I use and do I require a witness?S.M., California

In notarizing any document, a non-attorney Notary should never advise the customer on the type of notarial act, or whether the signer needs witnesses. To do so would be the unauthorized practice of law. You may notarize a will if the signer chooses the notarial act, the testator is following the advice of an attorney or if notarial wording is provided. The signer’s attorney also should provide legal advice about any requirement for witnesses as well.

Hotline answers are based on the laws in the state where the question originated and may not reflect the laws of other states. If in doubt, always refer to your own state statutes. – The Editors

Confronted with a tricky notarization? Unsure how to proceed? NNA members have unlimited access to our expertly trained NNA Hotline counselors to help you with all of your notarial questions. Call 1-888-876-0827, Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST; Saturday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST.

5 Comments

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Terri

21 Mar 2016

I thought California notaries were not allowed to notarize wills ... ?

Robert Pryor

22 Mar 2016

Where does it say that?

National Notary Association

23 Mar 2016

Hello. Wills are highly sensitive documents, the format of which is dictated by strict probate laws. Some states, such as California, do not require wills to be notarized. A Notary may not decide which certificate to attach because that is offering legal advice. It is professional practice to ask the signer to seek legal counsel on how to proceed. It is the NNA’s recommendation that a Notary not notarize a signature on a will unless certificate wording is attached. If it is, the Notary should make a note in the journal that the certificate was provided.

michelehunstable@gmail.com

10 Jul 2017

If as a Notary we do notarize the document and it calls for two witness can the Notary also act as the witness or should it be two separate individuals as the witness and the Notary only act as the Notary?

National Notary Association

11 Jul 2017

Hello. To help us answer your question can you please tell us what state you are commissioned in?

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