In NJ to add a codicil to our will do the witnesses need to know us or can they be strangers?

Asked over 1 year ago - Mount Laurel, NJ

We understand that we need a notary & 2 witnesses that are not named in the will.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Steven M Zelinger


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . They can be strangers, but they have to be competent adults, able to determine generally that you are of sound mind yourself (the formalities for a codicil are the same as for a will).

    This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided here is... more
  2. Ruth Elaine McMahon

    Contributor Level 18


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The notarial form should state whether the notary knows the witnesses or whether they have probided ID (generally a driver license with photo). The witnesses do not need to know the person signing the Will or codicil - and that is generally best. It is a bad idea to have a beneficiary as a witness. Persons that you know - so long as they are not beneficiaries - can be witnesses to a Will or Codicil.

  3. Charles Adam Shultz

    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The witnesses can be total strangers. Make sure their correct addresses are on the will so they can be located if necessary after you pass. Make sure their names are clear. If they are strangers to you, they will be strangers to your family and your personal representative. If they need to be tracked down because there is a question regarding execution of your Will, you want to make it easy on everyone.

    The general advice above does not constitute an attorney-client relationship: you haven't hired me or my firm or... more

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