A complete estate plan always includes a last will and testament, even if you use other tools that make the will little more than a safety net. But even if you don’t plan on using your will for important decisions about passing on property, you will want to make it as easy as possible for your estate to validate the will so it will minimize any probate costs. One of the best ways to do this is to create a self-proving affidavit that will accompany the will. Here’s what you need to know.
After you die your estate representative will go to probate court and ask the court to accept your last will and testament. To do this with court will have to be assured that the will meets all of the necessary legal requirements. One of these requirements includes having the witnesses testify that they saw you sign your will.
This can sometimes be problematic, especially if the witnesses have died, moved, or cannot be located. To avoid such potential hurdles the witnesses can sign an affidavit stating that they witnessed you sign your will. Because an affidavit is a sworn document made under penalty of perjury, the court will accept it as testimony and the witnesses will not have to testify later.
The best way to create a will and a self-proving affidavit is to sign all of them at the same time. You can do this by having a signing ceremony, a time in which you, the witnesses and probably your lawyer assemble in the same room to create the necessary documents.