Witnesses play a crucial role in a will. You need at least two witnesses to sign your will in your presence and the presence of each other. A witness’s signature acknowledges that you have signed your will and have observed other requirements.
Here are four factors to consider when choosing witnesses for your will:
They should be competent
Any person competent to act as a witness to a will can witness yours. They must be 18 years old and have a sound mind.
They should be present when you are signing
Witnesses must be present when you are signing your will. It may not be enough for you to inform them you signed the will. They should watch you sign it.
They should know you are signing your original will
Your witnesses don’t need to know what’s in your will but should know the document you are signing is your original will. It’s also vital to ensure they are informed when signing a codicil. Your witnesses should know you are making a change to one of your estate planning documents.
It’s not uncommon for a judge to invalidate a will because the witnesses were unaware they were witnessing its signing.
They can be beneficiaries
Most states do not allow people who stand to inherit under a will to witness it. However, in Florida, a will or a codicil is not invalid when signed by an interested witness. This means you can choose beneficiaries to witness your will without worrying about it being contested in the future, provided they are competent.
Creating a valid will involves various processes. Legal guidance can help you make informed decisions and, in turn, avoid mistakes that can invalidate your will.