Many wills that are written by estate planning attorneys are notarized even though every state does not require that a will be notarized in order to be classified as legally valid.
California does not require the additional step of notarization, although you might still choose to get a notary’s signature and stamp on your will document. Your will, so long as it has the right number of witnesses, is valid without the signature or stamp of the notary.
When a person’s will is presented for probate after they have passed away, the will has to be proved. This means that the will is clearly the last testament of the deceased party. If the will was signed many years ago, the will still needs to be proved because it can be difficult to find the witnesses who saw the original signing.
If these witnesses are not available, it becomes the responsibility of the people who can testify that the decedent’s signature on the will document is valid to come forward. Even if your state does not require that you notarize your will, it can be an additional step to signify your overall competence and the intention of the will itself.
This is especially helpful when the original witnesses to the will are not able to be located. You might choose to have your will witnessed by the required number of individuals as well as notarized at the time that you create it. What if the original witnesses are not available to testify about the validity of your will? The notary stamp could help to support the legal status of your will as far as meeting state requirements.
Since a notary must be registered with the state and will look at things like your personal identification before allowing their seal on the document, this can help to ensure that you’ve taken all precautionary steps to support the will’s validity.
For more information about what’s required to create a will in your location, schedule a consultation with a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer in Pasadena.