Notarizing Last Wills and Testaments


Wills are extremely important documents that establish how an individual’s assets will be dealt with after his or her death.

Notaries can notarize wills if they are knowledgeable about the practice. However, if the notary public is not experienced with this type of deed they may advise the client to contact an attorney for advice instead. The attorney will also be able to help with potential problems in the future such as a contested will.

Each state has different laws concerning wills. Look up the laws for your state to be informed about the process. For example, in New York, North Carolina, and Georgia, wills do not have to be notarized in order to be accepted in courts. However, in these states, you can draft a “self-proving will” that will speed up the process. You will need to go to a notary to draft a self-proving will.

In order to create a self-proving will, the testator (creator of the will) and disinterested witnesses will swear an affidavit in front of the notary that the testator is fully aware of what is being signed and that the witnesses witnessed the signing. In the case of a self-proving will, the court will save time by not needing to contact the witnesses.

If you wish to create a self-proving will, you should find a local notary service in your area.