What is a self-proved will?

What is a self-proved will?

Many wills are “self-proving,” which is simply a term that is used to describe a will that is witnessed by two or more individuals who certify that the will was actually signed by the decedent or testator. This is often accomplished by a self-proving affidavit that is attached to the last will and testament. This type of will helps to shorten the length of time that an estate is in probate, as it is a simple matter for the court to determine that the instrument is actually the true last will and testament of the decedent, thus helping to avoid the time and cost associated with located witnesses to swear to the signature during the probate process. This type of will is legal in nearly all states.

Shortens probate process

The self-proving will can save the witnesses to the will and beneficiaries to the will a significant inconvenience as they will not be required to appear in court in order to affirm the validity of the will itself. This will also lend an additional layer of authentication that can sometimes be useful in helping beneficiaries of the will to steer clear of long and expensive probate court processes, and is particularly useful if a witness to the will is difficult to locate, or is deceased. Nonetheless, the self-proving will helps to speed along the probate process so that the decedent’s estate can be dealt with properly, including the distribution of the decedent’s assets and the payment’s of decedent’s debts.

Estate planning and self-proving will 

Because there is no cookie-cutter will that can be used in all valid jurisdictions of the United States, it is invariably a wise move to have an estate planner to prepare a will for you. From state to state, there are different requirements for a self-proving will and particular language that must be used in order for the will to be considered valid. A qualified and well trained estate planner understands the complexities of creating a legally binding will and is the best person to consult with in order to draft your self-proving will.

If you have any questions or concerns, or are in need of legal advice or representation, please contact Lvovich and Szucsko or call 415-392-2560.