Frequently Asked Questions

A beneficiary whose maiden name has changed can prove their identity by producing a marriage certificate, divorce decree, or affidavit. Once the court sees appropriate documentation, it can distribute the funds, property, or other assets to the desired beneficiary.

The idea for Wills.com was created our founder had to deal with the sudden loss of his father and its aftermath. This platform is therefore built around the idea of helping those that benefit from estate planning. It is after all those that survive that have to deal with the emotional aftermath and settling the estate.  

The first thing to do after you lose someone is to obtain proof of death which you can get from the funeral home or a medical examiner. If you need help with this call us. 




Some people don’t want to probate a will. There is no requirement that a will or property go through probate, but if the decedent owned property that is not arranged specifically to avoid probate, there is no way for the beneficiaries to obtain legal ownership without it. There are some exceptions to this. Florida law allows a family to own property in a decedent’s name if they continue to pay taxes and do not sell it.

Most people think of probate as involving a will. If a person dies and leaves a will, then probate is required to implement the provisions of that will.


However, a probate process also can happen if a person dies without a will and has property that needs to be distributed under the state intestacy law (the law of inheritance). If the decedent owned an account that named a beneficiary (such as a retirement account) but the beneficiary has passed away before the owner of the account, probate law requires that account to go through the court so that the funds can be passed to the person legally entitled to them under state law.

Some states allow a will registry to be created at the courthouse, so you may try inquiring at the local probate court whether they maintain such a registry. Other locations to look at include a safety deposit box (this may require a court order if you didn't sign the signature card), under mattresses, between book pages, car glove boxes or trunks, or other private safes. If you don't know the attorney who drafted the will, you might look for old checks made out to attorneys or legal firms. You can also ask friends of the deceased who may have acted as witnesses whether or not there was mention of where the will was kept or the attorney involved. An address book may be a good resource for people to contact. If the Testator used an online service you way want to contact these.

No – A person might make a Will many decades before it comes into effect, so it’s entirely possible that one, or both, of the witnesses, die before the testator. This doesn’t invalidate it in any way.

Yes, an executor can witness a Will – as long as they are not also a beneficiary of your Will. 

No – if a beneficiary, or their spouse or civil partner, witnesses a Will, they forfeit their right to their share of the estate.

You should refuse to witness a Will if:

  • The person signing is not the testator
  • You don’t think the testator has the mental capacity
  • You think the testator is being coerced into signing the Will
  • You know that you are a beneficiary under the Will or you’re the spouse or civil partner of a beneficiary.

If you’re uncomfortable in any way about the circumstances you should refuse.

Who Can Be A Witness?

A witness must be an independent adult who isn’t related to the testator and has no personal interest in the Will. A neighbour or family friend is ideal. Someone cannot be a witness if they are:

  • The spouse or civil partner of the testator
  • A beneficiary of the Will
  • The spouse or civil partner of a beneficiary.

Executors can witness the Will

A witness doesn’t have any ongoing legal responsibilities once they’ve signed the Will. The only time they might be called upon again is if there is a challenge to the validity of the Will after the testator has died. 

If someone claims that the signature is forged, or that the testator was either pressured into signing or didn’t have the mental capacity to sign, the witness’ testimony could be vital. They may be asked to sign an affidavit to confirm the circumstances in which the Will was signed.


A notary public is a public officer who serves the public in non-contentious matters. A Notary Public is an official of integrity appointed by state government —typically by the secretary of state — to serve the public as an impartial witness in performing a variety of official fraud-deterrent acts related to the signing of important documents.

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Executing a will is the technical term for signing a will and making it legally binding. ... To execute a will in any state in the United States, you must 1) sign the document while you have the capacity to know what you're doing, and 2) have two people sign the will as witnesses.

After you the Testator and 2 witnesses have signed your Will it is now executed. 

Executing a will is the technical term for signing a will and making it legally binding. ... To execute a will in any state in the United States, you must 1) sign the document while you have the capacity to know what you're doing, and 2) have two people sign the will as witnesses.


Now that your will is executed we recommend storing your executed will in a safe place you can optionally upload a scanned copy to your wills.com profile We recommend you communicate clearly with the executor and beneficiaries of your estate plan of the whereabouts of your important documents. 

You can use the "My will progress" menu on the right of the page to go back and forth between the different sections in your will by selecting the desired section. 


You can always continue your will by going to wills.com > Logging into your account > and select continue my Will. 

This will take you back to where you left off. 

When creating a will, you must possess the legal competency or mental capacity to do so.  Otherwise, the will may not be considered valid by the court. However, simply because someone has a mental illness or disease, that does not mean they automatically lack the required mental capacity.  In fact, if the testator has periods of clarity, he or she could still be considered competent at the time the will is executed, if it occurs during that period of lucidity.

The answer will depend on all of the circumstances in your situation, but there are living trust and testamentary trusts. Testamentary trusts are created in a will and take effect when you die. They can be used to manage the distribution of assets that weren't specifically dealt with in the last will and testament form, such as property you acquired later.

The only time they might be called upon again is if there is a challenge to the validity of the Will after the testator has died. If someone claims that the signature is forged, or that the testator was either pressured into signing or didn’t have the mental capacity to sign, the witness’ testimony could be vital. They may be asked to sign an affidavit to confirm the circumstances in which the Will was signed.

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