Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Laila J Kepler Passing on the legacy
family-centered
estate planning
Call today to schedule your
confidential consultation
(951) 265-9716

Estate Planning Newsletter

Wills that Must be Witnessed

A witnessed will is only one of several different types of wills. It is also referred to as a “formal” or “attested” will, and involves the eyewitness participation of other people.

Witnesses

In most states, a witnessed will must be observed by 2 individuals. They must also state that they were present when the person (testator) signed the will, and then recite the way it was signed. This helps safeguard the witnessing (in case at a later date, they are unavailable to verify the testator’s signature on the will).

Who Should Be A Witness

A witness should not be someone who will inherit under the will. Some states disallow this type of witness, and other states limit the inheritance a witness to a will can receive. Witnesses should also be competent to testify about the signing of the will and likely to outlive the testator.

Signature Requirements

A witnessed will must be signed by one of the following:

  • The person making the will (testator)
  • A person the testator has chosen to sign on his/her behalf
  • A conservator chosen by the courts

Marks of the Testator

The testator does not necessarily have to put his/her signature on the will. Other marks will satisfy the signature requirement if the testator is not able to sign the will because he/she is either illiterate or disabled. These types of marks include:

  • Any mark that is near the testator’s name
  • Another person’s signature (with the testator’s direction), in the presence of the testator
  • A conservator’s signature

However, in order for these types of marks to be valid as signatures, they must be witnessed and signed by 2 other persons.

  • Giving to Charity
    It is possible to set up a trust for charitable purposes. Charitable trusts are quite common, but certain requirements must be met. Purpose of a Charitable Gift Reasons for charitable gifts funded through... Read more.
  • The Living Trust
    Unlike a will or some other types of trusts, which take effect upon the death of their creator, a “living trust” or “inter vivos trust” comes into effect during its creator’s lifetime. The creator of a... Read more.
  • Making Charitable Bequests with Non-U.S. Assets
    Taxpayers who make contributions to qualified charitable organizations are entitled to a tax benefit in the form of a charitable deduction on their income taxes. However, the issue becomes more complex when a non-U.S. citizen makes a... Read more.
  • Estate Taxes and Valuation of Estate Property
    Assets owned by a person at the time of their death, whether real or personal property, is commonly referred to as the decedent’s “estate.” After the person dies, the property or proceeds from the sale of such property... Read more.
Estate Planning News Links
Share This Page:
Our law firm represents estate planning clients from Riverside County, North County San Diego, Temecula, Murrieta, Lake Elsinore, Canyon Lake, Wildomar, De Luz, Fallbrook, Bonsall, Escondido, Valley Center, Rainbow, Hemet, Riverside, Menifee, Sun City, Canyon Heights, Canyon Lake, Quail Valley, Pechanga, and Pala. Our law firm focuses on California estate planning, wills, trusts, estates, probate administration, trust administration, asset protection, and entity formation. Practicing as an estate planning attorney, trust attorney, and probate attorney, Laila Kepler guides her clients through life's changes.