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Does my Will have to be notarized and how many witnesses do I need

Chicago, IL |

Does my will have to be notarized and witnessed? If so, by how many persons?

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Attorney answers 3


Your Illinois will does not have to be notarized. However, it must be witnessed by at least two witnesses.


Your will does not have to be notarized, but it is a good idea for it to be notarized. You will need at least two witnesses to the execution of the will. Are you doing this will yourself with a software program? If you are, you might be better off consulting an estate planning lawyer. Most practitioners do not charge much for drafting a will and you might be surprised at the ways you might be able to get in trouble or make a mistake by drafting a will. If you are contrmplating drafting your own will, please reconsider.


Yes, I must agree with the prior responder to this question: even though you need a minimum of only two witnesses to a will, it is their signatures that usually need to be notarized. You normally want them to complete an affidavit after the person who is making the will signs stating basically that that they saw the maker sign in their presence, believe the maker to not be under any duress and doing it as his own free and voluntary act. Once this affidavit is signed and notarized and attached to the will, you then have a self-proving will, i.e. one that you need not the witnesses come to court and testify about - as long as the affidavit and executions are done correctly. That's why you want a lawyer to do the Will to make sure these often overlooked details are taken care of. (There is nothing more disappointing than having an otherwise valid will NOT recognized by the Courts because you need to find one of the witnesses to the will to testify and they are dead or no longer available because the will was not a self-proving will! ) Again, this post is for information purposes only and is not to be as legal advice applicable to any particular person or situation.

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