How to Witness a Last Will & Testament

by Cindy Hill, studioD
Witnesses ensure that a will has not been executed under threat or pressure.

Witnesses ensure that a will has not been executed under threat or pressure.

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Being asked to witness the will of a friend, family member or coworker can create unnecessary anxiety. Although a will is an important legal document which must be witnessed to be valid, the duties and responsibilities of witnesses are simple and straightforward. It is extremely rare for witnesses to a will to ever be called upon for any further obligations related to their signatures. As you consider how to witness a last will and testament, think about taking advantage of the will-signing event to complete your own will at the same time.

Step 1

Advise the testator if you are under 18, as this disqualifies you from witnessing a will. Ask if you are a beneficiary under the will, as in most cases beneficiaries should also not witness a will signing, advises the Washington State Bar Association.

Step 2

Check to determine that there are at least two witnesses in the room in addition to the testator, or at least three witnesses in the state of Vermont, advises FindLaw.

Step 3

Sit where you can physically observe the testator sign the will. Remain in the room while all necessary witnesses sign the will.

Step 4

Sign the will where indicated by a witness signature line. Use a non-erasable ball point pen, or a fountain pen and ink,. You may also inscribe a date adjacent to your signature or on a separate designated date line. If requested, print your name in addition to your signature.