The probate process in Pennsylvania is difficult enough without adding additional uncertainty to the process. One way to make things easier is to have a self-proving will. This is not as hard as you think, and it only entails a couple of extra steps. The benefits are invaluable.
Self-proving affidavits are helpful
Wills do not always have to be notarized, but it certainly helps. You could have a valid will as long as it meets certain requirements and has two witnesses. However, there may always be doubts about the will’s validity that your loved ones would have to overcome with additional proof in the probate process. This could add time, stress and expense. A will is always contestable, and the lack of notarization gives someone grounds to challenge it.
Witnesses cannot always be found to testify
This can be avoided with an additional affidavit that is added to your will. This document is a further expression that the will really represents the intent and wishes of the testator. It is also signed by the witnesses, and it is notarized. This affidavit could be even more persuasive in court when someone challenges the will. If that happens, you will not need to track down the witnesses to the original will and get them to appear in court. The affidavit would do all their talking for them. This is helpful because witnesses can be difficult to find, or they die over time.
For tips such as these to make estate administration easier, you should see an attorney. He or she could assist with your estate plan, giving your family the peace of mind that it needs. A lawyer’s help may prove invaluable in the future when your family is relying on the certainty that an estate plan offers.
To learn more, visit our Estate Planning and Probate page.
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