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Old 06-30-2016, 10:37 AM
bmasters1 bmasters1 is offline
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 374
Certified copies of wills

Is a certified, notarized copy of a will legal?
Old 06-30-2016, 12:05 PM
friedo friedo is online now
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 23,653
Legal for what purpose? I can get a photo of my left nut notarized if I want. What does "certified" mean? Who or what is certifying this document? What jurisdiction are you in?

Generally, anything meeting the definition of a will that is written down is legal for the purpose of adjudication in probate court. Proving the provenance of a will can be made easier in certain ways, though.
Old 06-30-2016, 01:04 PM
ftg ftg is offline
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Not the PNW :-(
Posts: 16,288
State laws vary. A handwritten will might be legit even without witnesses.

Many states require certain standards of number and who can be witnesses. Notarization is a lesser issue.

Here, it takes two witnesses. No notarization required. But it is a really good idea to speed up probate.

Old 06-30-2016, 02:45 PM
ivylass ivylass is offline
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Orlando(ish)
Posts: 21,467
We have about six copies of our wills, each notarized. I would imagine the attorney wouldn't have made us sign all of them if they weren't legit.

I live in Florida. YMMV.
Old 07-01-2016, 09:45 AM
Raza Raza is offline
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Atl-N, 3409'N 8405'W
Posts: 1,340
From my recent experience in Georgia and past experience in Florida, I would think it is original signatures that makes it valid for probate. So, a certified copy (in FL at least, it is a copy that a Notary verifies is a true copy of the original) wouldn't ordinarily be accepted for probate, but any copy that had the original signatures of the maker and required witnesses would be, notarized or not (notarization helps if the witnesses cannot be located).


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