How To Sign A Will

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| 3 min. read |

It seems straight forward but each state has got their own rules and regulation. And then there's what you should know before witnesses the signing of your own will of before you witness the signing of some one else's 

A will is a legal document that sets forth your wishes regarding the distribution of your property and the care of any minor children. If you die without a will, those wishes may not be carried out. Without a proper will in place, your loved ones expected to receive inheritance may end up spending additional time, money, and emotional energy to settle your affairs. For this reason, it's critical to ensure that a last will and testament is set up to outline all of the details and transactions that must occur upon your death. If you have one set up and are wondering how to sign a will, let's review. makes it easy to arrange and set up a last will and testament from the comfort of your home. We can help guide you through the appropriate steps to ensure that your legal document is ready in the event of your passing

How to Prepare and Validate Your Will

It's a common misconception that you need a professional or legally experienced representative to ensure the validity of a will. With advancing technology, if you feel that you can tackle the task on your own, there are several online options as well as software programs available to assist you in creating a will. Find will creation resources here


Once you have drafted the documents for your will and have outlined all appropriate steps to include in the will, it will need to be witnessed, typically by two adults of sound mind who know you well. 


Any person may act as a witness to your will, but it's best to pick what's known as a disinterested witness””someone who isn't a beneficiary and has no financial or personal stake in your choices. Some states require two or more witnesses. If a lawyer prepared the will, they shouldn't serve as one of the witnesses. Find state-wide stipulations for signing a will here


In some states, a will must also be notarized, so check the rules where you live. Even if that formality isn't required, you might consider having your witnesses complete what's known as a self-proving affidavit. Signed in the presence of a notary, the document may facilitate the probate process by reducing the likelihood witnesses will be called into court to validate their signatures and the will's authenticity.

How To Sign A Will: Ensure Proper Valid Documentation

Someone who participates in the validation process of a will is also referred to as a witness to a will. They are tasked with ensuring that the testor (or person creating the will) has the mental capacity required for the will to be legal and valid. It's an important component to ensuring that your will is successfully carried out without conflict or issues. 


In most cases, all of the witnesses to a will must be present when the testator signs the document and be able to observe the signing. The witnesses also sign the will after the testator.

Witnesses are usually required to be over the age of 18, though Texas allows witnesses who are at least 14. Learning how to sign a will is very straightforward. Typically, a person who is a witness to a will doesn't have to read through the document as they are only there to validate that the testor is competent and able to create their last will and testament.

signing a will

How Many Witnesses are Needed?

The exact witness requirements differ from state to state. Most states require at least two witnesses to sign the will. Some states, like Vermont, require three witnesses. Some states allow holographic wills, which are wills handwritten and usually signed only by the testator.

Can I be a Witness if I am also a Beneficiary?

Whether or not a beneficiary can also be a witness depends on state law. In most places witnesses must be “disinterested.” That means they will not inherit or receive any of the property included in the will.


Beneficiaries are usually required to be disinterested to prevent fraud, coercion, or undue influence that might invalidate the will. If a beneficiary is a witness and the will is challenged, the court might declare their gift void. Under those circumstances the rest of the will would still be valid.


The beneficiary's gift might pass to an alternative beneficiary if one was named. If there was no alternative beneficiary then the gift would become part of the residuary estate and be distributed according to the residuary clause.


Witnesses may also be called to testify about the character or mental state of the testator. There might be a conflict of interest if the witness is also a beneficiary and the validity of the will is being challenged. A witness who is also a beneficiary might be motivated to lie if their gift is at risk.

If the testator has more witnesses than the state requires, then one can be a beneficiary. For example, most states only require two witnesses. If there is a third witness who is also a beneficiary, then their gift will remain in effect because the two disinterested witnesses met the legal requirement for a valid will.

how to sign a will legally

Signing A Will With

Learn how to sign a will if the will has been created online. As with most wills, a witness must be an independent adult who is unrelated to the testor and has no personal interest in the will. A neighbor or family friend is ideal. Someone cannot be a witness if they are:

  • A spouse or civil partner of the testor
  • A beneficiary of the will
  • The spouse or civil partner of a beneficiary makes it easy and convenient for witness signing to take place. We provide full instructions and step-by-step options to help with the signing of the document and ensuring that all aspects of the legal document are taken care of.

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