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Mother passed away recently. her will was not notarized and the witness is deceased. What do I need to do? Will this will be ok?

West Mifflin, PA |

The will lists my brother as the sole heir to all of her possessions, including 2 homes, both which are still financed. Can we open an estate with the will not being notarized and the witness being deceased?

Attorney Answers 1


My condolences for your loss.

A Will in Pennsylvania - to be effective - need not be witnessed or notarized. The lack of those two items does not be invalid, it just adds a few more steps to probate the Will.

Talk to the Register of Wills in the County where your mother was domiciled. You will need a few extra forms to completed, but it sounds like you're fine.

However, you state that the Will was not notarized. How was the Will prepared and does the Will itself have the proper elements in it.

I would consult with an attorney about this. Probating a Will and being sworn in as the Executor is a big deal.

Good luck.


John B. Whalen, Jr., J.D., LL.M.

John B. Whalen, Jr., Esq. provides free initial home consultations seven (7) days per week, including all evenings, weekends, and holidays, from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM.

Mr. Whalen's telephone number is 610-407-0220,
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Mr. Whalen is an AV Peer Review Attorney and Counselor at Law, is listed in The Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, and is Avvo Rated 10.0 Superb.

Mr. Whalen has spoken for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute and the Delaware County Estate Planning Council, and has had his legal articles published by the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, the Pennsylvania Law Weekly, and the Martindale.Com website, and he has had his law blogs published on the Lawyers.Com website.

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