Do You Need a Notary for Your Will or Advanced Medical Directives?

March 20, 2020

This article is for educational and entertainment purposes only. This is not legal advice and should not be relied on as such. Every case is different. Consult a licensed professional in your state. Viewing this website or its content does not create an attorney-client relationship with Lyda Law Firm or any of its lawyers.

As long as you have two (2) witnesses that sign each document, a notary is not required to file a will or medical directive.

Effective Advanced Medical Directives Without a Notary 

Signing in the presence of two witnesses or a notary will make your advance medical directives effective. If using two witnesses, each witness

  • must be over the age of 18, and
  • must be considered “uninterested.”

To be “uninterested,” the witness

  • may not be a physician;
  • may not be an agent designated to make healthcare decisions for you;
  • may not be a beneficiary under your will; and
  • may not be someone who would otherwise benefit from your death.

Effective Wills Without a Notary

If using two witnesses, the witnesses do not need to be “uninterested.” However, it is recommended that you do use uninterested witnesses given the likely event of an “interested” witness raising disputes regarding undue influence or the validity of the will during the probate process.

Although it is recommended, a will does not require you to sign in the presence of a notary. Instead, Colorado allows the use of a “Self-Proving Affidavit” attached to your will. This requires the use of a notary, but it streamlines the process in the long run.

Without a Self-Proving Affidavit, the Court may need to contact the witnesses that sign to ensure the validity of the will.

With a Self-Proving Affidavit signed in the presence of a notary and two witnesses, the Court’s need to contact witnesses after death is eliminated which ultimately speeds up the probate process. 

How Lyda Law Firm Can Help

Lyda Law Firm is available to assist in the preparation of wills, medical directives, and other estate planning documents. We are working remotely during COVID-19 to comply with the State’s distancing recommendations and regulations; however, we are working on inputting a system to virtually witness and e-sign documents so they may be properly executed. 

We can also assist to connect our clients to mobile and virtual notary services who can travel to your location. Please contact us for more information on our services.

In-person meetings by appointment only.


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