Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Virginia

Father's Will not notarized

My father past away last month in Fairfax county where he last lived and past away. In looking over his will, three witnesses signed, but it was not notarized. My sister and I are his only children and he has no spouse. In his will, he left any money and possessions he had split between the two of us. He had no real estate, just IRA investments in which we both were named beneficiaries. What are the consequences of his Will not being notarized?

Asked on 9/18/04, 5:21 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Jonathon Moseley Jonathon A. Moseley

Re: Father's Will not notarized

I agree. It is possible that you will need to round up the witnesses and get them to testify in court that your father signed it. The most important part of having an attorney do your will is how the will is executed and implemented. If it is executed properly, the witnesses have self-proving affidavits in which the witnesses are not required to testify in the court. If this was not done correctly (and if nothing is notarized it probably was not done correctly) then the witnesses might need to go into the court and say under oath that they were there and saw your father sign the will. But that's a worst-case scenario. First, just go in and make application to become appointed as executor (personal representative). Don't assume a problem. If the cout has a problem with anything, the court will let you know. (That's not always a good approach, especially in situations were one only gets one chance in court. But with a probate like this, if you do not hire an attorney to do this for you, then this approach is a way to save on legal bills by waiting to see what the problems are.)

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Answered on 9/21/04, 12:16 am
Michael Hendrickson Law Office Michael E. Hendrickson

Re: Father's Will not notarized

The consequences of the will not being notarized

will probably be minimal. The important thing is for the one who has been appointed executor(not the administrator who is appointed only when the decedent dies intestate) of the will(and surely there is a provision for that in the will)to go to the probate division of the circuit cout in the jurisiction where the testator became deceased

and make application to be appointed the executor in order to probate the estate.(The foregoing assumes that there is a need to probate this estate and that your deceased father's IRA funds

were not directly payable to you as beneficiary(s) upon his decease.)

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Answered on 9/19/04, 12:03 am

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