How to Witness a Last Will & Testament

By Cindy Hill

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.

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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.

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Can a Person Write Their Own Will & Then Have It Notarized?


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