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How a self-proving will can speed the probate process

On Behalf of | Sep 13, 2022 | estate administration & probate, trust & probate administration |

Estate planning in Indiana can include a lot of complex steps – or worse, steps that are easy enough but easy to forget. If you’re just getting started, there are a few important things to remember.

A common step that people forget is notarizing their will. This is the process of making sure that your will is valid in a court of law.

What does the process of notarizing look like?

Notarizing a will involves taking your written will to a notary public – an official who has been authorized by the state to act as a witness. Wills that are signed in front of a lawyer with a witness do not need to be notarized in this way.

Getting your will notarized is important to prove to the court that this is, in fact, your last will and testament and it wasn’t forged by another person. This might not prevent people from disputing your will, but it can make the estate administration process easier for your loved ones.

What about self-proving will?

Many people avoid getting their wills notarized by using a self-proving affidavit. This is a self-sworn statement that will be attached to your will, signed by yourself and witnesses.

After your death, if your will is contested in any way, your witnesses will be required to appear in probate court and say that the will is in fact yours. Generally, this will end the process of anyone questioning your will.

Do I need a self-proving affidavit attached to my will?

Indiana does not require a self-proving affidavit to be attached to your will if it’s been signed and witnessed correctly. But the addition of a self-proving affidavit to your will can make it harder for anyone to contest your will and ultimately make the probate process go faster.

It’s ultimately up to you whether or not you think a self-proving affidavit is appropriate for your estate plan. It’s important to talk out options with your family.