California Notary Public’s are prohibited from giving legal advice. The only advice we can provide you is that you need to consult a lawyer regarding whether a will needs to be notarized, or witnesses. If a lawyer indicated that the will should be notarized, then a California Notary Public may notarize the document provided all other criteria for being notarized are met. If the Notary Public indicates they are not supposed to notarize a will, you can provide them contact information of your lawyer stating that they want the will to be notarized, because they will probably refer you to consult a lawyer when you tell them it is a will being notarized.
I have encountered being asked to witness a will, or notarize and witness a will. According to Notary Public handbook, we are not prohibited from acting as a witness on a last will and testament. However, if the witnesses signatures are getting notarized, we could not act as a witness because we are not allowed to notarize the signature of ourselves when acting as a Notary Public.
When California Notary Publics sign as a witness to a document, they do so as an individual in an official capacity, and according to the California Notary Public handbook, are not allowed to affix their seal unless they are acting in an official capacity.
Getting a Will witnesses or notarized can be a very complicated process, especially in California. The above information is provided for informational purposes about Zekes Mobile Notary and California Mobile Notary Public procedures and policies and does not imply legal advice, or guarantee the legality of a document if you listen to the above information.
Whether or not you are a single person, you are married, have children, or living with a significant other, you can't assume that those you care about are sure to inherit your estate when you are deceased. Here are just a few examples:
- If your significant other isn't your spouse, he or she may be evicted from the home you shared by a long-lost relative.
- If both parents of a child die without a will, the court will name a guardian to take custody of the minor children and handle their inheritance from the parents' estate. Even worse, if your estate recovers a large settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit after you die in a car accident, it may be taken over by the state if you didn't write a will.
- You separated from your spouse years ago, but never got a divorce and now he or she is able to disinherit those closest to you.
A will is a legal document that allows a person to make sure their final wishes are fulfilled. By completing a will, a person gives instructions on how to distribute their assets among the intended beneficiaries, and makes other final wishes. A person may leave a bequest in any manner desired in a will, leaving everything to be distributed to one beneficiary or to be equally divided among them, or in any percentage stated. Testators may want to leave everything to a surviving spouse, and/or to leave property to their children, or not. When there is more than one heir, property is not required to be divided among them in equal shares.
A will also allows a person to choose trusted individuals to act as their personal representatives, in order to manage the estate, close up affairs, and distribute it according to the testator's stated wishes. Without a will, a person may end up having their property distributed by a stranger chosen by the court according to their state's rules of intestacy, or it could escheat to the state. This may cause much more expense and delay in the administration process than a will would require, and the property may wind up being distributed against the deceased’s wishes.
Always consult a lawyer when you are uncertain of what needs to be notarized or witnesses by a Notary Public in California, as well as for preparation of legal documents.