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Why Should I Notarize my Will?

Updated: Aug 4, 2020

In the State of Missouri you do not need to notarize a will. So why go through the extra hassle of taking your will and other estate planning documents to the bank?

There is one big reason why you should notarize your will, the reason being that a notarized will becomes “self-proving”

What does self-proving mean? The concept of a self-proving will is a concept based on the authority of a will to control the distribution of your estate. In order for your will to be controlling, or binding, your will must be signed by two witnesses. That is the basic requirement.

If you have your will notarized, and this is important, your two witnesses are present when the will is notarized, your will becomes self-proving. Meaning, the will acts as sufficient proof of its own authority.

If a will is not self-proving the probate court will reach out to the witnesses of the will to ensure the document was signed in their presence. This can be problematic if those witnesses are unavailable, have passed away, or are otherwise difficult to find.

The simple process of notarizing your will, in the presence of two witnesses, again the witnesses must be present for the notarization, can help ensure your will is quickly and seamlessly distributed.

It is well worth the inconvenience of getting everyone to the bank, or wherever your notary is, now to avoid future hassle and potential cost, for your posterity. Besides, you will have to go to the bank to have your power of attorney documents notarized anyway.

If you have any questions regarding your will or estate plan Hometown Law is eager to help. You can find our contact information here.

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