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My Last Will and Testament has not been signed by two witnesses, but has been notarized. Is it valid?

Seattle, WA |

I live in Washington State. I have a Last Will and Testament that has been signed by me and has been notarized. However, upon reading RCW 11.12.020 (Washington State law) I see that two witnesses are required. So, if I died before I correct my Last Will and Testament, would it be deemed invalid?

Attorney Answers 2

Posted

Documents that do not meet statutory requirements would not be accepted as wills by the court.

RCW 11.12.020 (Requisites of wills – Foreign wills) provides: "(1) Every will shall be in writing signed by the testator or by some other person under the testator's direction in the testator's presence, and shall be attested by two or more competent witnesses, by subscribing their names to the will, or by signing an affidavit that complies with RCW 11.20.020(2), while in the presence of the testator and at the testator's direction or request: PROVIDED, That a last will and testament, executed in the mode prescribed by the law of the place where executed or of the testator's domicile, either at the time of the will's execution or at the time of the testator's death, shall be deemed to be legally executed, and shall be of the same force and effect as if executed in the mode prescribed by the laws of this state."

If you are satisfied that your document reflect your wishes and your wishes would not be unenforced by the court, what you can do is quickly round up "two or more competent witnesses" and re-do the signing of your document. You can review RCW 11.12.160 (Interested witness – Effect on will) for some of the requirements for a competent witness.

If you have questions, you should review your specific facts with your attorney.

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Posted

If there was one witness plus the notary you would probably be okay. But I agree that the safe route would be to round up two witnesses to have it down right.

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