Self-Proving Affidavit Form | Attach to a Will or Codicil

Self-Proving Affidavit Form Attach to a Will or Codicil

A Self-Proving Affidavit Form is a notarized document that helps prove a codicil or Will’s validity and hastens the probate process.

The self-proving affidavit form is usually signed by a testator (the original creator of a will) alongside two witnesses, who confirm under oath that they saw the Testator sign his/her Will or Codicil without any undue influence. Once created, the self-proving affidavit form should be attached to a Will or Codicil and be made part of the document.

Self-Proving Affidavit’s Primary Purpose

The primary purpose of a self-proving affidavit form is to provide an added layer of protection, especially after the Testator dies, against anyone contesting the Last Will. The document provides a written and notarized statement indicating that the Testator signed it according to the relevant state laws without undue influence.

Making a Self-Proving Affidavit Form

Creating a self-proving affidavit form is one more way of ensuring that one puts together a solid estate plan that executes everything they envision for their loved ones, even after death. While most people find estate planning confusing and overwhelming, the whole process is relatively simple if an individual is well informed.

So how does one create a self-proving affidavit form? Consider the following simple steps to make a self-proving affidavit form:

Find two disinterested witnesses

The first step of creating a valid self-proving affidavit form entails finding at least two witnesses who are not already mentioned in the Testator’s Last Will or Codicil. The witnesses must be over the required legal age (i.e., 18 years for most states) within the Testator’s state and should be of sound mind.

Plan to meet with a notary public

After gathering at least two witnesses, the Testator will need to meet with a notary public alongside the witnesses. Generally, most banks offer notary services. Thus, notarizing the Last Will will be as simple as checking which hours the bank has a notary public on duty. However, some banks, including the Bank of America, charge a small fee. Besides the bank, many state libraries and UPS stores have notaries. Hence, be sure to check with those too.

Sign the self-proving affidavit form

The Testator will be required to present the Codicil or will along with the self-proving affidavit form and two witnesses before a notary citizen. The notary public will put the Testator and witnesses under oath to sign the document.

Once notarized, the self-proving affidavit form should be attached to the Last Will or Codicil and be made part of the document to make known that both witnesses signing the document were present at the time of its execution before a notary public.  Besides, the Testator should ensure that they inform someone they trust about the whereabouts of their estate planning documents. In most cases, the Executor or Trustee should know about the location of these documents. A copy of the estate planning documents should also be issued to the Testator’s estate attorney for record-keeping.

Filling the Affidavit Form

A self-proving affidavit form is an important document signed by a testator and two witnesses that verify under oath that the witnesses saw the Testator sign their Will and that it is legally valid. The document is relatively simple to put in place, and it can save time and stave off unnecessary court complications if the Testator dies. Although it is not legally required for a testator to have one, signing a self-proving affidavit form is a practical step of ensuring a smoother and efficient probate process later on in life after one passes away.

Consult this quick guide on how to fill in the self-proving affidavit form:

  • Prepare a self-proving affidavit from scratch, have an estate attorney prepare one, or download free, readily available self-proving affidavit form templates and customize them as desired. From a professional perspective, we highly recommend using online templates or hiring an estate attorney to prepare the document on behalf of the Testator to avoid missing out on crucial legal language to include in the document.
  • To execute the self-proving affidavit form, one will need the paperwork it refers to, the party’s signature implementing the specific paperwork, the two witnesses providing the testimony in the affidavit, and a licensed notary citizen acknowledge the form. Once all these parties and necessary paperwork are accounted for, the Testator can use the downloaded template and provide the required information.
  • Provide the location where the self-proving affidavit form is implemented. The topmost part of the self-proving affidavit form provides the state and county where the document is being implemented, respectively. For Example:

Self-Proving Affidavit Form

State of Virginia
County of North Virginia

  • Write the identity of the witnesses. Typically, the first paragraph of the self-proving affidavit form provides the language required for the document’s primary purpose. Therefore, the Testator will need to enter the name of each witness here. For example:

We, Emily Parker and Vincentia Rodgers, whose names are signed to the preceding.

  • Identify the exact paperwork that the self-proving affidavit form refers to. Generally, the self-proving affidavit form will refer to a specific document implemented by the Testator. Therefore, enter the title of the specific document supported by the Attach to a Will or Codicil. It is important to note that one should enter the exact title of the document the self-proving affidavit will be attached to for certainty.
  • Provide the signature of both signatories. Both the signatures of the Testator and the two witnesses must be provided in the self-proving affidavit form, respectively. All signatures must be followed by a printed name and the effective signing date of the document.
  • Acknowledge it by a notary public. Once the self-proving affidavit form is completed and signed by all the required parties, it should be acknowledged by a state-licensed notary public. The notary public will provide the date, and the identity of the individuals appearing before him/her on that day, then finalize the notarization process by entering some standard commission information and stamping the self-proving affidavit form.

At this point, the self-proving affidavit form is complete and legally binding. Thus, the Testator can attach the form to the document it should be applied to and make it part of the estate planning documents.

Download Free Templates

Following are the free downloadable templates to be customized as per need:

By State

Standard Template

Self Proving Affidavit Form Template

Signing Requirements by States

Following are the signing requirements with respect to each state:

StateWitness and Notary PublicState Law
AL2 Witnesses and a Notary Public§ 43-8-132
AK2 Witnesses and a Notary Public§ 13.12.504
AZ2 Witnesses and a Notary Public§ 14-2504
AR2 Witnesses and a Notary Public§ 28-25-106
CA1 Witnesses§ 8220
CO2 Witnesses and a Notary Public§ 15-11-504
CT1 Witnesses and a Notary Public§ 45a-285
DE2 Witnesses and a Notary Public§ 12-13-1305
FL2 Witnesses and a Notary Public§ 732.503
GA2 Witnesses and a Notary Public§ 53-4-24
HI2 Witnesses and a Notary Public§ 560:2-504
ID2 Witnesses and a Notary Public§ 15-2-504
IL2 Witnesses§ 755-5-6-4
INSeparate Affidavit not required§ 29-1-5-3.1
IA2 Witnesses and a Notary Public§ 633.279(2)
KS2 Witnesses and a Notary Public§ 59-606
KY2 Witnesses and a Notary Public§ 394.225
LANot Permitted 
ME2 Witnesses and a Notary Public§ 2-503
MDNot Permitted 
MA2 Witnesses and a Notary Public§ 2-504
MI2 Witnesses and a Notary Public§ 700.2504
MN2 Witnesses and a Notary Public§ 524.2-504
MS2 Witnesses and a Notary Public§ 91-7-10
MO2 Witnesses and a Notary Public§ 474.337
MT2 Witnesses and a Notary Public§ 72-2-524
NE2 Witnesses and a Notary Public§ 30-2329
NV2 Witnesses and a Notary Public§133-050 and § 133-055
NHSeparate Affidavit not required§ 551-2-a
NJ2 Witnesses and a Notary Public§ 3B:3-4
NM2 Witnesses and a Notary Public§ 45-2-504
NY1 Witnesses and a Notary Public§ 1406
NC2 Witnesses and a Notary Public§ 31-11.6
ND2 Witnesses and a Notary Public§ 30.1-08-04
OHNot Permitted 
OK2 Witnesses and a Notary Public§ 84-55(5)
OR1 Witness and a Notary Public§ 113.055
PA2 Witnesses and a Notary Public 3132.1
RI1 Witnesses and a Notary Public§ 33-7-26
SC2 Witnesses and a Notary Public§ 62-2-503
SD2 Witnesses and a Notary Public§ 29A-2-504
TN1 Witnesses and a Notary Public§ 32-2-110)
TX2 Witnesses and a Notary Public§ 251-104
UT2 Witnesses and a Notary Public§ 75-2-504
VT2 Witnesses and a Notary Public§ 14-3-108
VA2 Witnesses and a Notary Public§ 64.2-452
WA1 Witnesses and a Notary Public§ 11.20.020
WV1 Witnesses and a Notary Public§ 41-5-15
WI2 Witnesses and a Notary Public§ 853-04
WY2 Witnesses and a Notary Public§ 2-6-114

Conclusion

When it comes to estate planning, putting in place a self-proving affidavit form can make a testator’s life and that of his/her next of kin much easier. Essentially, a self-proving affidavit is the best way of ensuring a smoother and quicker probate process, which is usually complicated and involves many court drama from family and other third parties. This document also makes it easier for one’s next kin to administer their estate and provides an added layer of security against anyone contesting the Testator’s Last Will. Therefore, attaching a self-proving affidavit form to one’s last Will is a great relief for everyone involved.

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