Does a Will need to be witnessed and notarized?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Does a Will need to be witnessed and notarized?

Although my domicile is in FL, I travel full-time for business. I am in the process of writing my Will and realize

that it needs to be witnessed and recommended to be notarized. Does this need to be done in FL or can I

have it witnessed/notarized in any other state? Next, how do I go about filing it once it’s signed?

Asked on December 16, 2018 under Estate Planning, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it has to be witnessed to be legal/effective. It should be notarized, since while notarization is not specifically required to enforce a will, it makes enforcing it much easier: if a will is notarized, it is "self proving" and can be submitted without witnesses; but without notarization, the witnesses to signing would have to come to court when the will is probated to testify.
Wills are typically not filed until someone tries to probate it after you pass--usually you just give copies to the executor you name and any key beneficiaries, to make sure the relevant people have it when needed.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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