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    Can you witness a will and be the Executor?

    Asked Sep 25, 2008, 10:32 AM 8 Answers
    My parents have both passed away in the past 5 months. Mother's will left all to my Dad. Dad's will left all to us four kids. Both wills were written and notorized on the same day several years ago. My sister and I were witness to both wills as well as another witness. Now that Dad has passed away unexpectedly we realized that we witnessed this will and we are the two Executors. This is a small estate with a house and it's furnishings, two small checking and two small savings. Will this be a problem?

    Last edited by cmalone; Sep 25, 2008 at 10:33 AM. Reason: left out there were more than two witness'
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    8 Answers
    smearcase's Avatar
    smearcase Posts: 2,227, Reputation: 290
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    #2

    Sep 25, 2008, 11:24 AM

    Varies greatly by state. This reference may be a start:
    Survey of State Law--Witnesses to Last Wills
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    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 61,866, Reputation: 5752
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    #3

    Sep 25, 2008, 12:20 PM



    It shouldn't be a problem. If there were other heirs who might want to contest the will, it might cause issues. But if the 4 kids are not going to contest you are OK.
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    JudyKayTee's Avatar
    JudyKayTee Posts: 46,513, Reputation: 4591
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    #4

    Sep 25, 2008, 12:49 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by cmalone View Post
    My parents have both passed away in the past 5 months. Mother's will left all to my Dad. Dad's will left all to us four kids. Both wills were written and notorized on the same day several years ago. My sister and I were witness to both wills as well as another witness. Now that Dad has passed away unexpectedly we realized that we witnessed this will and we are the two Executors. This is a small estate with a house and it's furnishings, two small checking and two small savings. Will this be a problem?

    I don't advise this and Attorneys usually shy away from it but there is no problem.

    In order to have a problem someone would have to protest and it doesn't sound like you've got that issue.

    When you say notarized, I trust you mean witnessed? Or was this done without an Attorney?
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    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 75,727, Reputation: 7217
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    #5

    Sep 25, 2008, 01:33 PM



    Normally not done, surprised the attorney that did the wills allowed this. But esp since there was a notory who is the main witness in many ways, since they witness the fact the people are who they claim to be at signing. I see no problem.
    And to be honest the only real issues will come if there is someone contestng the wills where there can be a future legal battle
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    cmalone's Avatar
    cmalone Posts: 6, Reputation: 1
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    #6

    Sep 29, 2008, 06:02 AM
    Comment on Fr_Chuck's post
    Quote Originally Posted by Fr_Chuck View Post
    Normally not done, surprised the attorney that did the wills allowed this. But esp since there was a notory who is the main witness in many ways, since they witness the fact the people are who they claim to be at signing. I see no problem.
    And to be honest the only real issues will come if there is someone contestng the wills where there can be a future legal battle
    It was my sister, me, another witness and the notary. Your answer seems to agree with others. There will be no conflict between the siblings - we make sure we agree on things before we act.
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    cmalone's Avatar
    cmalone Posts: 6, Reputation: 1
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    #7

    Sep 29, 2008, 06:05 AM
    Comment on JudyKayTee's post
    Quote Originally Posted by JudyKayTee View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by cmalone View Post
    My parents have both passed away in the past 5 months. Mother's will left all to my Dad. Dad's will left all to us four kids. Both wills were written and notorized on the same day several years ago. My sister and I were witness to both wills as well as another witness. Now that Dad has passed away unexpectedly we realized that we witnessed this will and we are the two Executors. This is a small estate with a house and it's furnishings, two small checking and two small savings. Will this be a problem?

    I don't advise this and Attorneys usually shy away from it but there is no problem.

    In order to have a problem someone would have to protest and it doesn't sound like you've got that issue.

    When you say notarized, I trust you mean witnessed? Or was this done without an Attorney?
    There will be no contest between us. We did not use an attorney. Just another witness and the notary.
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    cmalone's Avatar
    cmalone Posts: 6, Reputation: 1
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    #8

    Sep 29, 2008, 06:07 AM
    Comment on smearcase's post
    Quote Originally Posted by smearcase View Post
    Varies greatly by state. This reference may be a start:
    Survey of State Law--Witnesses to Last Wills
    Thanks for referring me to the book
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    JudyKayTee's Avatar
    JudyKayTee Posts: 46,513, Reputation: 4591
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    #9

    Sep 29, 2008, 07:38 AM
    [QUOTE=Comments on this post
    Cmalone : There will be no contest between us. We did not use an attorney. Just another witness and the notary.[QUOTE]



    Who wrote the Will? Some of this will depend on whether the Will was totally in compliance with your State's Laws. If so it will be admitted to probate and there should be no problems.
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