Skip to main content

CAN A NOTARY WITNESS A WILL IN CALIFORNIA?

Van Nuys, CA |

I need to know if a Notary Public can be a Witness to a Will in the State of California. Can you let me know and if there is any Code that you may know of that provides the information, can you please share it? thank you

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

A will generally needs more than one witness in every U.S. state that I have ever heard of. The witnesses need not be notaries, however; neither is being a notary a bar to being a witness to a will.

The attached California statutory information, relating to California Probate Code sections 6110-6113 may be helpful. I cannot vouch for its currency, however. Statutes are often read in conjunction with case law in which judges interpret the meaning of various terms. I make no representation as to any applicable case law.

Consult a California lawyer if you need legal advice. This is not legal advice as I do not hold California licensure or practice law there.

Mark as helpful

7 lawyers agree

Posted

You will need twowitnesses. Notary status is irrelevant. I always have three witnesses that are not benficiaries if possible.

Mark as helpful

7 lawyers agree

1 comment

L. Maxwell Taylor

L. Maxwell Taylor

Posted

A witness who is a beneficiary is not a disinterested witness, which makes for big problems. Witnesses to a will should never take under the will they witness.

Posted

You need at least two disinterested witnesses. The mechanics of executing a Will must be strictly followed. A Will can be witnessed by a notary but an acknowledgement is not necessary and an acknowledgement would not substitute for either or both of the required two subscribing witnesses.

I am licensed in California only and my answers on Avvo assume California law. Answers provided by me are for general information only. They are not legal advice. Answers must not be relied upon. Legal advice must be based on the interplay between specific exact facts and the law. This forum does not allow for the discussion of that interplay. My answer to any specific question would likely be different if that interplay were explored during an attorney-client relationship. I provide legal advice during the course of an attorney-client relationship only. The exchange of information through this forum does not establish such a relationship. That relationship is established only by personal and direct consultation with me followed by the execution of a written attorney-client agreement signed by each of us. The communications on this website are not privileged or confidential and I assume no duty to anyone by my participation on Avvo or because I have answered or commented on a question. All legal proceedings involve deadlines and time limiting statutes. So that legal rights are not lost for failure to timely take appropriate action and because I do not provide legal advice in answer to any question, if you are an interested party you should promptly and personally consult with an attorney for legal advice. Also, see Avvo's terms and conditions of use, specifically item 9, incorporated by this reference

Mark as helpful

8 lawyers agree

1 comment

Michael Raymond Daymude

Michael Raymond Daymude

Posted

If there are not two disinterested witnesses the following probate code provision applies: 6112. (a) Any person generally competent to be a witness may act as a witness to a will. (b) A will or any provision thereof is not invalid because the will is signed by an interested witness. (c) Unless there are at least two other subscribing witnesses to the will who are disinterested witnesses, the fact that the will makes a devise to a subscribing witness creates a presumption that the witness procured the devise by duress, menace, fraud, or undue influence. This presumption is a presumption affecting the burden of proof. This presumption does not apply where the witness is a person to whom the devise is made solely in a fiduciary capacity. (d) If a devise made by the will to an interested witness fails because the presumption established by subdivision (c) applies to the devise and the witness fails to rebut the presumption, the interested witness shall take such proportion of the devise made to the witness in the will as does not exceed the share of the estate which would be distributed to the witness if the will were not established. Nothing in this subdivision affects the law that applies where it is established that the witness procured a devise by duress, menace, fraud, or undue influence.

Civil rights topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics