Does a Will need to be notorized in order for it to be legal?

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Does a Will need to be notorized in order for it to be legal?

My mother financed a car and left it to me upon her death. The car financing company told me the will had to be notarized. I told her I was advised that as long as it was signed by 2 witnesses, it did not need to notarized. She said she would have to get back to me.

Asked on January 16, 2012 under Estate Planning, Wisconsin

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  Generally speaking, you are absolutely correct.  The signature of the testator (here your Mother) only has to be witnessed (usually by two witnesses) who sign below the testator's name on the document,  Many times there are self proving affidavits signed by the witnesses but that does not notarize the testator's signature.  You do have to worry about the loan on the car here and take care of that matter.  Speak with the executor and the attorney about it.  Good luck.


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