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Who can be witnesses in your will?

On Behalf of | Mar 26, 2024 | ESTATE PLANNING - Wills

Drafting a will can be an effective way to relay your wishes to your surviving family members after passing on. This document is enforceable but may lose significance if its content becomes outdated, invalid, or cause legal conflicts. Each state has varying requirements for wills, including conditions concerning who you can name as witnesses.

A legally sound will usually has two witnesses, but choosing them can be equally important. You may already have some people in mind, although you should consider whether naming them as witnesses may lead to problems later on.

What should I consider?

Before choosing someone as a witness in your will, you should determine if they are eligible. There are reasonable conditions for someone to become a witness, such as meeting the age requirement. However, the second qualification can be more challenging to fulfill: having no direct interest in the decedent’s will.

For privacy’s sake, you may want to limit how many people can know about what is in your will. However, distant relatives and unrelated friends could be the only people who can be your witnesses without issues. You can have other options, such as having a professional become a witness, such as your doctor or the attorney who is also serving as your will’s executor.

Creating a legally sound will

Other parts of your will can lead to disputes without adequate planning and preparation. Before drafting a will, consider getting legal guidance to keep your will valid and legally sound no matter how much time passes. Experienced insight can also help you consider specific circumstances that may apply to you and your family members so you can address issues that could cause disputes after you pass on.