Is a typewritten, notorized page considered a legal Will if leaving real estate to a person’s children?

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Is a typewritten, notorized page considered a legal Will if leaving real estate to a person’s children?

My mother died leaving only this paper, and property to 3 of 5 surviving sons.

Asked on August 13, 2011 Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The issue comes down to whether it was executed in the proper way. In MO, a will must be signed by the testator (person making the will; your mother) *and* also witnessed by two people; i.e. two people must have witnessed your mother sign, then sign their own names as witnesses. Notarization does not substitute for  the two witnesses, though if the will was properly signed and witnessed, having the will notarized may enable the will to be probated more quickly and easily (there are also some requirements as to the language that must be in the will). If the will was not executed properly, including being witnessed properly, it will not have effect, and your mother's assets will pass by "intestate succession"--the rules for what happens when there is no will.


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