Do I need witnesses for a Will?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Do I need witnesses for a Will?

I have downloaded a pre-written last will and testament from a legal forms website. I followed the instructions and filled out who the beneficiaries are and what I want them to have upon my death. Do I need two witnesses to my signature including their addresses and/or a notary in Virginia. Where can I obtain these witnesses?

Asked on February 14, 2017 under Estate Planning, Virginia


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

In VA, to finalize a Will you must sign it in front of 2 witnesses, and they must sign your Will. These witnesses can be anyone over the age of 18 who are of sound mind. Additionally, you do not need to notarize your will in order to make it legal. However, to make it what is called "self-proving", you will need to go to a notary with the witnesses and sign an affidavit that proves who you are and that each of you knew you were signing your Will. A self-proving Will speeds up probate because the court can accept it without contacting the witnesses who signed.

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