Every State's Execution Requirements for Wills


If you’re using an online tool to create your Will, whether it’s Modern Will or some other site, it’s a good idea for you to make sure that your Will meets your state’s execution requirements. Otherwise your Will may not be valid in your state and could be discredited in probate court. This information can be difficult to track down for many states, so we’ve created the resource below to make it simple. Just find your state and review the information below it, or click the link to the associated statute. Keep in mind that states sometimes make changes to their execution requirements, so going directly to the state statutes (listed below) is the best way to find the most up-to-date information.  

Alabama Will Execution Requirements

2006 Alabama Code - Section 43-8-131 — Execution and signature of will; witnesses.

Except as provided within section 43-8-135, every will shall be in writing signed by the testator or in the testator's name by some other person in the testator's presence and by his direction, and shall be signed by at least two persons each of whom witnessed either the signing or the testator's acknowledgment of the signature or of the will.
Alaska Will Execution Requirements

Sec. 13.12.502. Execution; witnessed wills; holographic wills.

(a) Except as provided in (b) of this section, AS 13.06.068 , AS 13.12.506, and 13.12.513, a will must be
(1) in writing;
(2) signed by the testator or in the testator's name by another individual in the testator's conscious presence and by the testator's direction; and
(3) signed by at least two individuals, each of whom signs within a reasonable time after the witness witnesses either the signing of the will as described in (2) of this subsection or the testator's acknowledgment of that signature or the will.
Arizona Will Execution Requirements

Title 14, Chapter 2, Article 5 - 14-2502 - Execution of paper wills; witnessed wills; holographic wills; testamentary intent.

A. Except as provided in sections 14-2503, 14-2506 and 14-2513, a paper will shall be:
1. In writing.
2. Signed by the testator or in the testator's name by some other individual in the testator's conscious presence and by the testator's direction.
3. Signed by at least two people, each of whom signed within a reasonable time after that person witnessed either the signing of the will as described in paragraph 2 of this subsection or the testator's acknowledgment of that signature or acknowledgment of the will.
B. Intent that a tangible medium or an electronic record constitutes the testator's will can be established by extrinsic evidence, including, for holographic wills under section 14-2503, portions of the document that are not in the testator's handwriting.
Arkansas Will Execution Requirements

Execution and Revocation § 28-25-103. Execution generally.

(a) The execution of a will, other than holographic, must be by the signature of the testator and of at least two (2) witnesses.
(b)(1) The testator shall declare to the attesting witnesses that the instrument is his or her will and either:
(A) Himself or herself sign;
(B) Acknowledge his or her signature already made;
(C) Sign by mark, his or her name being written near it and witnessed by a person who writes his or her own name as witness to the signature; or
(D)(i) At his or her discretion and in his or her presence have someone else sign his or her name for him or her.
(ii) The person so signing shall write his or her own name and state that he or she signed the testator’s name at the request of the testator.
(2) In any of the cases listed in subdivision (b)(1) of this section:
(A) The signature must be at the end of the instrument; and
(B) The act must be done in the presence of two (2) or more attesting witnesses.
(c) The attesting witnesses must sign at the request and in the presence of the testator.
California Will Execution Requirements

CHAPTER 2. Execution of Wills [6110 - 6113]

(a) Except as provided in this part, a will shall be in writing and satisfy the requirements of this section.
(b) The will shall be signed by one of the following:
(1) By the testator.
(2) In the testator’s name by some other person in the testator’s presence and by the testator’s direction.
(3) By a conservator pursuant to a court order to make a will under Section 2580.
(c) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), the will shall be witnessed by being signed, during the testator’s lifetime, by at least two persons each of whom (A) being present at the same time, witnessed either the signing of the will or the testator’s acknowledgment of the signature or of the will and (B) understand that the instrument they sign is the testator’s will.
(2) If a will was not executed in compliance with paragraph (1), the will shall be treated as if it was executed in compliance with that paragraph if the proponent of the will establishes by clear and convincing evidence that, at the time the testator signed the will, the testator intended the will to constitute the testator’s will.
Colorado Will Execution Requirements

15-11-502. Execution - witnessed or notarized wills - holographic wills

(1) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (2) of this section and in sections 15-11-503, 15-11-506, and 15-11-513, a will shall be:
(a) In writing;
(b) Signed by the testator, or in the testator's name by some other individual in the testator's conscious presence and by the testator's direction; and
(c) Either:
(I) Signed by at least two individuals, either prior to or after the testator's death, each of whom signed within a reasonable time after he or she witnessed either the testator's signing of the will as described in paragraph (b) of this subsection (1) or the testator's acknowledgment of that signature or acknowledgment of the will; or
(II) Acknowledged by the testator before a notary public or other individual authorized by law to take acknowledgments.
(2) A will that does not comply with subsection (1) of this section is valid as a holographic will, whether or not witnessed, if the signature and material portions of the document are in the testator's handwriting.
(3) Intent that the document constitute the testator's will can be established by extrinsic evidence, including, for holographic wills, portions of the document that are not in the testator's handwriting.
(4) For purposes of this section, "conscious presence" requires physical proximity to the testator but not necessarily within testator's line of sight.
(5) For purposes of this part 5, "will" does not include a designated beneficiary agreement that is executed pursuant to article 22 of this title.
Connecticut Will Execution Requirements

Sec. 45a-251. (Formerly Sec. 45-161). Making and execution of wills. Wills executed outside the state.

A will or codicil shall not be valid to pass any property unless it is in writing, subscribed by the testator and attested by two witnesses, each of them subscribing in the testator's presence; but any will executed according to the laws of the state or country where it was executed may be admitted to probate in this state and shall be effectual to pass any property of the testator situated in this state.
Delaware Will Execution Requirements

§ 202 Requisites and execution of will.

(a) Every will, whether of personal or real estate, must be:
(1) In writing and signed by the testator or by some person subscribing the testator’s name in the testator’s presence and by the testator’s express direction; and
(2) Subject to § 1306 of this title, attested and subscribed in testator’s presence by 2 or more credible witnesses.
(b) Any will not complying with subsection (a) of this section shall be void.
District of Columbia Will Execution Requirements

§ 18–103. Execution of written will; attestation

A will or testament, other than a will executed in the manner provided by section 18-107 , is void unless it is:
(1) in writing and signed by the testator, or by another person in his presence and by his express direction; and
(2) attested and subscribed in the presence or, during a period of time for which the Mayor has declared a public health emergency pursuant to § 7-2304.01, the electronic presence, as defined in § 18-813(a)(2), of the testator, by at least two credible witnesses.
Florida Will Execution Requirements

732.502 Execution of wills.

Every will must be in writing and executed as follows:
(1)(a) Testator’s signature.—
1. The testator must sign the will at the end; or
2. The testator’s name must be subscribed at the end of the will by some other person in the testator’s presence and by the testator’s direction.
(b) Witnesses.—The testator’s:
1. Signing, or
2. Acknowledgment:
a. That he or she has previously signed the will, or
b. That another person has subscribed the testator’s name to it,
must be in the presence of at least two attesting witnesses.
(c) Witnesses’ signatures.—The attesting witnesses must sign the will in the presence of the testator and in the presence of each other.
(2) Any will, other than a holographic or nuncupative will, executed by a nonresident of Florida, either before or after this law takes effect, is valid as a will in this state if valid under the laws of the state or country where the will was executed. A will in the testator’s handwriting that has been executed in accordance with subsection (1) shall not be considered a holographic will.
(3) Any will executed as a military testamentary instrument in accordance with 10 U.S.C. s. 1044d, Chapter 53, by a person who is eligible for military legal assistance is valid as a will in this state.
(4) No particular form of words is necessary to the validity of a will if it is executed with the formalities required by law.
(5) A codicil shall be executed with the same formalities as a will.
Georgia Will Execution Requirements

§ 53-4-20. Required writing; signing; witnesses; codicil

(a) A will shall be in writing and shall be signed by the testator or by some other individual in the testator's presence and at the testator's express direction. A testator may sign by mark or by any name that is intended to authenticate the instrument as the testator's will.
(b) A will shall be attested and subscribed in the presence of the testator by two or more competent witnesses. A witness to a will may attest by mark. Another individual may not subscribe the name of a witness, even in that witness's presence and at that witness's direction.
(c) A codicil shall be executed by the testator and attested and subscribed by witnesses with the same formality as a will.
Hawaii Will Execution Requirements

§560:2-502 Execution; witnessed wills; holographic wills

(a) Except as provided in subsection (b) and in sections 560:2-503, 560:2-506, and 560:2-513, a will must be:
(1) In writing;
(2) Signed by the testator or in the testator's name by some other individual in the testator's conscious presence and by the testator's direction; and
(3) Signed by at least two individuals, each of whom signed within a reasonable time after the individual witnessed either the signing of the will as described in paragraph (2) or the testator's acknowledgment of that signature or acknowledgment of the will.
(b) A will that does not comply with subsection (a) is valid as a holographic will, whether or not witnessed, if the signature and material portions of the document are in the testator's handwriting.
(c) Intent that the document constitute the testator's will can be established by extrinsic evidence, including, for holographic wills, portions of the document that are not in the testator's handwriting. [L 1996, c 288, pt of §1]
Idaho Will Execution Requirements

15-2-502. EXECUTION.

Except as provided for holographic wills, writings within section 15-2-513 of this part, and wills within section 15-2-506 of this part, or except as provided in section 51-109, Idaho Code, every will shall be in writing signed by the testator or in the testator’s name by some other person in the testator’s presence and by his direction, and shall be signed by at least two (2) persons each of whom witnessed either the signing or the testator’s acknowledgment of the signature or of the will.
Illinois Will Execution Requirements

Sec. 4-3. Signing and attestation.

(a) Every will shall be in writing, signed by the testator or by some person in his presence and by his direction and attested in the presence of the testator by 2 or more credible witnesses.
(b) A will that qualifies as an international will under the Uniform International Wills Act is considered to meet all the requirements of subsection (a).
Indiana Will Execution Requirements

IC 29-1-5-2 Writing; witnesses

Sec. 2. (a) All wills except nuncupative wills shall be executed in writing.
(b) Any person competent at the time of attestation to be a witness generally in this state may act as an attesting witness to the execution of a will and his subsequent incompetency shall not prevent the probate thereof.
(c) If any person shall be a subscribing witness to the execution of any will in which any interest is passed to him, and such will cannot be proved without his testimony or proof of his signature thereto as a witness, such will shall be void only as to him and persons claiming under him, and he shall be compelled to testify respecting the execution of such will as if no such interest had been passed to him; but if he would have been entitled to a distributive share of the testator's estate except for such will, then so much of said estate as said witness would have been thus entitled to, not exceeding the value of such interest passed to him by such will, shall be saved to him.
(d) No attesting witness is interested unless the will gives to him some personal and beneficial interest. The fact that a person is named in the will as executor, trustee, or guardian, or as counsel for the estate, personal representative, trustee or guardian does not make him an interested person.
Iowa Will Execution Requirements

§633.279 Signed and witnessed.

1. Formal execution. All wills and codicils, except as provided in section 633.283, to be valid, must be in writing, signed by the testator, or by some person in the testator’s presence and by the testator’s express direction writing the testator’s name thereto, and declared by the testator to be the testator’s will, and witnessed, at the testator’s request, by two competent persons who signed as witnesses in the presence of the testator and in the presence of each other; provided, however, that the validity of the execution of any will or instrument which was executed prior to January 1, 1964, shall be determined by the law in effect immediately prior to said date.
Kansas Will Execution Requirements

59-606. Execution and attestation; self-proved wills and codicils; affidavits; form.

Every will, except an oral will as provided in K.S.A. 59-608 and amendments thereto, shall be in writing, and signed at the end by the party making the will, or by some other person in the presence and by the express direction of the testator. Such will shall be attested and subscribed in the presence of such party by two or more competent witnesses, who saw the testator subscribe or heard the testator acknowledge the will.
Kentucky Will Execution Requirements

394.040 Requisites of a valid will.

No will is valid unless it is in writing with the name of the testator subscribed thereto by himself, or by some other person in his presence and by his direction. If the will is not wholly written by the testator, the subscription shall be made or the will acknowledged by him in the presence of at least two (2) credible witnesses, who shall subscribe the will with their names in the presence of the testator, and in the presence of each other.
Louisiana Will Execution Requirements

Art. 1577. Requirements of form

The notarial testament shall be prepared in writing and dated and shall be executed in the following manner. If the testator knows how to sign his name and to read and is physically able to do both, then:
(1) In the presence of a notary and two competent witnesses, the testator shall declare or signify to them that the instrument is his testament and shall sign his name at the end of the testament and on each other separate page.
(2) In the presence of the testator and each other, the notary and the witnesses shall sign the following declaration, or one substantially similar: "In our presence the testator has declared or signified that this instrument is his testament and has signed it at the end and on each other separate page, and in the presence of the testator and each other we have hereunto subscribed our names this ____day of _________, ____."
Maine Will Execution Requirements

§2-502. Execution; holographic wills

1. Witnessed wills. Except as otherwise provided in subsection 2 and in sections 2-505 and 2-512, a will must be:
A. In writing; [PL 2017, c. 402, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); PL 2019, c. 417, Pt. B, §14 (AFF).]
B. Signed by the testator or in the testator's name by some other individual in the testator's conscious presence and by the testator's direction; and [PL 2017, c. 402, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); PL 2019, c. 417, Pt. B, §14 (AFF).]
C. Signed by at least 2 individuals, each of whom signed within a reasonable time after the individual witnessed either the signing of the will as described in paragraph B or the testator's acknowledgment of that signature or acknowledgment of the will. [PL 2017, c. 402, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); PL 2019, c. 417, Pt. B, §14 (AFF).]
Maryland Will Execution Requirements

§ 4-102. Writing; signature; attestation

(a) Writing; signature; attestation. -- Except as provided in §§ 4-103 and 4-104 of this subtitle, every will shall be:
(1) In writing;
(2) Signed by the testator, or by some other person for the testator, in the testator's presence and by the testator's express direction; and
(3) Attested and signed by two or more credible witnesses in the presence of the testator.
(b) Witness not in presence of testator. -- For purposes of this section, a witness is not in the presence of the testator if the witness is in a different physical location than the testator regardless of whether the testator can observe the witness through electronic audio-video or other technological means.
Massachusetts Will Execution Requirements

Section 2-502: Execution of wills

a) Except as provided in subsection (b) and in sections 2–506 and 2–513, a will shall be:
(1) in writing;
(2) signed by the testator or in the testator's name by some other individual in the testator's conscious presence and by the testator's direction; and
(3) signed by at least 2 individuals, each of whom witnessed either the signing of the will as described in paragraph (2) or the testator's acknowledgment of that signature or acknowledgment of the will.
(b) Intent that the document constitute the testator's will can be established by extrinsic evidence.
Michigan Will Execution Requirements

700.2502 Execution; witnessed wills; holographic wills.

(1) Except as provided in subsection (2) and in sections 2503, 2506, and 2513, a will is valid only if it is all of the following:
(a) In writing.
(b) Signed by the testator or in the testator's name by some other individual in the testator's conscious presence and by the testator's direction.
(c) Signed by at least 2 individuals, each of whom signed within a reasonable time after he or she witnessed either the signing of the will as described in subdivision (b) or the testator's acknowledgment of that signature or acknowledgment of the will.
(2) A will that does not comply with subsection (1) is valid as a holographic will, whether or not witnessed, if it is dated, and if the testator's signature and the document's material portions are in the testator's handwriting.
(3) Intent that the document constitutes a testator's will can be established by extrinsic evidence, including, for a holographic will, portions of the document that are not in the testator's handwriting.
Minnesota Will Execution Requirements

524.2-502 EXECUTION; WITNESSED WILLS.

Except as provided in sections 524.2-506 and 524.2-513, a will must be:
(1) in writing;
(2) signed by the testator or in the testator's name by some other individual in the testator's conscious presence and by the testator's direction or signed by the testator's conservator pursuant to a court order under section 524.5-411; and
(3) signed by at least two individuals, each of whom signed within a reasonable time after witnessing either the signing of the will as described in clause (2) or the testator's acknowledgment of that signature or acknowledgment of the will.
Mississippi Will Execution Requirements

§ 91-5-1. Who may execute; signature; attestation.

Every person eighteen (18) years of age or older, being of sound and disposing mind, shall have power, by last will and testament, or codicil in writing, to devise all the estate, right, title and interest in possession, reversion, or remainder, which he or she hath, or at the time of his or her death shall have, of, in, or to lands, tenements, hereditaments, or annuities, or rents charged upon or issuing out of them, or goods and chattels, and personal estate of any description whatever, provided such last will and testament, or codicil, be signed by the testator or testatrix, or by some other person in his or her presence and by his or her express direction. Moreover, if not wholly written and subscribed by himself or herself, it shall be attested by two (2) or more credible witnesses in the presence of the testator or testatrix.
Missouri Will Execution Requirements

474.320. Will form, execution, attestation.

Every will shall be in writing, signed by the testator, or by some person, by his direction, in his presence; and shall be attested by two or more competent witnesses subscribing their names to the will in the presence of the testator.
Montana Will Execution Requirements

72-2-522. Execution – witnessed wills – holographic wills.

(1) Except as provided in 72-2-523, 72-2-526, 72-2-533, and subsection (2) of this section, a will must be:
(a) in writing;
(b) signed by the testator or in the testator's name by some other individual in the testator's conscious presence and by the testator's direction; and
(c) signed by at least two individuals, each of whom signed within a reasonable time after having witnessed either the signing of the will as described in subsection (1)(b) or the testator's acknowledgment of that signature or acknowledgment of the will.
(2) A will that does not comply with subsection (1) is valid as a holographic will, whether or not witnessed, if the signature and material portions of the document are in the testator's handwriting.
(3) Intent that the document constitute the testator's will may be established by extrinsic evidence, including, for holographic wills, portions of the document that are not in the testator's handwriting.
Nebraska Will Execution Requirements

30-2327. Execution.

Except as provided for holographic wills, writings within section 30-2338, and wills within section 30-2331, every will is required to be in writing signed by the testator or in the testator's name by some other individual in the testator's presence and by his direction, and is required to be signed by at least two individuals each of whom witnessed either the signing or the testator's acknowledgment of the signature or of the will.
Nevada Will Execution Requirements

NRS 133.040 Valid wills: Requirements of writing, subscription, witnesses and attestation.

No will executed in this State, except such electronic wills or holographic wills as are mentioned in this chapter, is valid unless it is in writing and signed by the testator, or by an attending person at the testator’s express direction, and attested by at least two competent witnesses who subscribe their names to the will in the presence of the testator.
New Hampshire Will Execution Requirements

551:2 Requirements.

To be valid, a will or codicil to a will shall:
I. Be made by a testator qualifying under RSA 551:1; and
II. Be in writing; and
III. Be signed by the testator, or by some person at his or her express direction in his or her presence; and
IV. Be signed by 2 or more credible witnesses, who shall, at the request of the testator and in the testator's presence, attest to the testator's signature.
No seal shall be required. These requirements shall apply to all wills executed on or after January 1, 1993.
New Jersey Will Execution Requirements

3B:3-2 Execution; witnessed wills ; writings intended as wills .

a. Except as provided in subsection b. and in N.J.S.3B:3-3, a will shall be:
(1) in writing;
(2) signed by the testator or in the testator's name by some other individual in the testator's conscious presence and at the testator's direction; and
(3) signed by at least two individuals, each of whom signed within a reasonable time after each witnessed either the signing of the will as described in paragraph (2) or the testator's acknowledgment of that signature or acknowledgment of the will.
b. A will that does not comply with subsection a. is valid as a writing intended as a will, whether or not witnessed, if the signature and material portions of the document are in the testator's handwriting.
c. Intent that the document constitutes the testator's will can be established by extrinsic evidence, including for writings intended as wills, portions of the document that are not in the testator's handwriting.
New Mexico Will Execution Requirements

45-2-502. Execution; witnessed wills.

Except as provided in Sections 45-2-506 and 45-2-513 NMSA 1978:
A. every will shall be in writing, signed by the testator or in the testator's name by some other person in the testator's presence and by his direction and attested in the presence of the testator by two or more credible witnesses; and
B. the witnesses to a will shall be present, see the testator sign the will, or one sign it for him at his request as and for his last will and testament, and shall sign as witnesses in his presence and in the presence of each other.
New York Will Execution Requirements

§ 3-2.1 Execution and attestation of wills; formal requirements

Every will must be in writing, and executed and attested in the following manner:
(1) It shall be signed at the end thereof by the testator . . .
(2) The signature of the testator shall be affixed to the will in the presence of each of the attesting witnesses, or shall be acknowledged by the testator to each of them to have been affixed by him or by his direction. The testator may either sign in the presence of, or acknowledge his signature to each attesting witness separately.
(3) The testator shall, at some time during the ceremony or ceremonies of execution and attestation, declare to each of the attesting witnesses that the instrument to which his signature has been affixed is his will.
(4) There shall be at least two attesting witnesses, who shall, within one thirty day period, both attest the testator’s signature, as affixed or acknowledged in their presence, and at the request of the testator, sign their names and affix their residence addresses at the end of the will. There shall be a rebuttable presumption that the thirty day requirement of the preceding sentence has been fulfilled. The failure of a witness to affix his address shall not affect the validity of the will.
North Carolina Will Execution Requirements

N.C.G.S. § 31-1 Execution of Will.

§ 31-3.3. Attested written will.
(a) An attested written will is a written will signed by the testator and attested by at least two competent witnesses as provided by this section.
(b) The testator must, with intent to sign the will, do so by actually signing the will or by having someone else in the testator's presence and at the testator's direction sign the testator's name thereon.
(c) The testator must signify to the attesting witnesses that the instrument is the testator's instrument by signing it in their presence or by acknowledging to them the testator's signature previously affixed thereto, either of which may be done before the attesting witnesses separately.
(d) The attesting witnesses must sign the will in the presence of the testator but need not sign in the presence of each other. (1953, c. 1098, s. 2; 2011-344, s. 8.)
North Dakota Will Execution Requirements

30.1-08-02. (2-502) Execution - Witnessed wills - Holographic wills.

1. Except as provided in subsection 2 and in sections 30.1-08-06 and 30.1-08-13, a will must be:
a. In writing.
b. Signed by the testator or in the testator's name by some other individual in the testator's conscious presence and by the testator's direction.
c. Either signed:
(1) By at least two individuals, each of whom signed within a reasonable time after witnessing either the signing of the will as described in subdivision b or the testator's acknowledgment of that signature or acknowledgment of the will; or
(2) Acknowledged by the testator before a notary public or other individual authorized by law to take acknowledgments.
2. A will that does not comply with subsection 1 is valid as a holographic will, whether or not witnessed, if the signature and material portions of the document are in the testator's handwriting.
3. Intent that a document constitute the testator's will can be established by extrinsic evidence, including, for holographic wills, portions of the document that are not in the testator's handwriting.
Ohio Will Execution Requirements

2107.03 Method of making will.

Except oral wills, every will shall be in writing, but may be handwritten or typewritten. The will shall be signed at the end by the testator or by some other person in the testator's conscious presence and at the testator's express direction. The will shall be attested and subscribed in the conscious presence of the testator, by two or more competent witnesses, who saw the testator subscribe, or heard the testator acknowledge the testator's signature.
For purposes of this section, "conscious presence" means within the range of any of the testator's senses, excluding the sense of sight or sound that is sensed by telephonic, electronic, or other distant communication.
Oklahoma Will Execution Requirements

§84-55. Formal requisites in execution - Self-proved wills.

Every will, other than a nuncupative will, must be in writing; and every will, other than a holographic will and a nuncupative will, must be executed and attested as follows:
1. It must be subscribed at the end thereof by the testator himself, or some person, in his presence and by his direction, must subscribe his name thereto.
2. The subscription must be made in the presence of the attesting witnesses, or be acknowledged by the testator to them, to have been made by him or by his authority.
3. The testator must, at the time of subscribing or acknowledging the same, declare to the attesting witnesses that the instrument is his will.
4. There must be two attesting witnesses, each of whom must sign his name as a witness at the end of the will at the testator's request and in his presence.
Oregon Will Execution Requirements

2017 ORS 112.235 Execution of a will

(1)Except as provided in ORS 112.238 (Exception to will execution formalities), a will shall be in writing and shall be executed in accordance with the following formalities:
(a)The testator, in the presence of each of the witnesses, shall:
(A)Sign the will;
(B)Direct one of the witnesses or some other person to sign the name of the testator and the signer’s own name on the will; or
(C)Acknowledge the signature previously made on the will by the testator or at the testator’s direction.
(b)At least two witnesses shall each:
(A)(i) See the testator sign the will;
(ii)Hear the testator acknowledge the signature on the will; or
(iii) Hear or observe the testator direct some other person to sign the name of the testator; and
(B)Attest the will by signing the witness’ name to the will within a reasonable time before the testator’s death.
(2)The signature by a witness on an affidavit executed contemporaneously with execution of a will is considered a signature by the witness on the will in compliance with subsection (1)(b)(A)(iii) of this section if necessary to prove the will was duly executed in compliance with this section.
(3)A will executed in compliance with the Uniform International Wills Act shall be deemed to have complied with the formalities of this section.
(4)As used in this section, “writing” does not include an electronic record, document or image.
Pennsylvania Will Execution Requirements

2502. Form and execution of a will.

Every will shall be in writing and shall be signed by the testator at the end thereof, subject to the following rules and exceptions:
(1) Words following signature.--The presence of any writing after the signature to a will, whether written before or after its execution, shall not invalidate that which precedes the signature.
(2) Signature by mark.--If the testator is unable to sign his name for any reason, a will to which he makes his mark and to which his name is subscribed before or after he makes his mark shall be as valid as though he had signed his name thereto: Provided, That he makes his mark in the presence of two witnesses who sign their names to the will in his presence.
(3) Signature by another.--If the testator is unable to sign his name or to make his mark for any reason, a will to which his name is subscribed in his presence and by his express direction shall be as valid as though he had signed his name thereto: Provided, That he declares the instrument to be his will in the presence of two witnesses who sign their names to it in his presence.
Rhode Island Will Execution Requirements

§ 33-5-5. Execution of will – Acknowledgment and attestation.

No will shall be valid, except as provided in §§ 33-5-6 and 33-5-7, unless it shall be in writing and signed by the testator, or by some other person for him or her in his or her presence and by his or her express direction; and this signature shall be made or acknowledged by the testator in the presence of two (2) or more witnesses present at the same time, and the witnesses shall attest and shall subscribe the will in the presence of the testator, but no form of attestation shall be necessary, and no other publication shall be necessary.
South Carolina Will Execution Requirements

SECTION 62-2-502. Execution.

Except as provided for writings within Section 62-2-512 and wills within Section 62-2-505, every will shall be:
(1) in writing;
(2) signed by the testator or signed in the testator's name by some other individual in the testator's presence and by the testator's direction; and
(3) signed by at least two individuals each of whom witnessed either the signing or the testator's acknowledgment of the signature or of the will.
South Dakota Will Execution Requirements

29A-2-502. Holographic will–Validity of non-holographic will–Establishing intent.

(a) A will is valid as a holographic will, whether or not witnessed, if the signature and material portions of the document are in the testator's handwriting.
(b) A will not valid as a holographic will must be:
(1) In writing;
(2) Signed by the testator or in the testator's name by some other individual in the testator's conscious presence and by the testator's direction; and
(3) Signed in the conscious presence of the testator by two or more individuals who, in the conscious presence of the testator, witnessed either the signing of the will or the testator's acknowledgment of that signature.
(c) Intent that the document constitute the testator's will can be established by extrinsic evidence, including, for holographic wills, portions of the document that are not in the testator's handwriting.
Tennessee Will Execution Requirements

32-1-104. Will other than holographic or nuncupative — Signatures.

(a) The execution of a will, other than a holographic or nuncupative will, must be by the signature of the testator and of at least two (2) witnesses as follows:
(1) The testator shall signify to the attesting witnesses that the instrument is the testator's will and either:
(A) The testator sign;
(B) Acknowledge the testator's signature already made; or
(C) At the testator's direction and in the testator's presence have someone else sign the testator's name; and
(D) In any of the above cases the act must be done in the presence of two (2) or more attesting witnesses.
(2) The attesting witnesses must sign:
(A) In the presence of the testator; and
(B) In the presence of each other.
(b)
(1) For wills executed prior to July 1, 2016, to the extent necessary for the will to be validly executed, witness signatures affixed to an affidavit meeting the requirements of § 32-2-110 shall be considered signatures to the will, provided that:
(A) The signatures are made at the same time as the testator signs the will and are made in accordance with subsection (a); and
(B) The affidavit contains language meeting all the requirements of subsection (a).
(2) If the witnesses signed the affidavit on the same day that the testator signed the will, it shall be presumed that the witnesses and the testator signed at the same time, unless rebutted by clear and convincing evidence. If, pursuant to this subsection (b), witness signatures on the affidavit are treated as signatures on the will, the affidavit shall not also serve as a self-proving affidavit under § 32-2-110. Nothing in this subsection (b) shall affect, eliminate, or relax the requirement in subsection (a) that the testator sign the will.
Texas Will Execution Requirements

Sec. 251.051 Written, Signed, and Attested

Except as otherwise provided by law, a will must be:
(1)in writing;
(2)signed by:
(A)the testator in person; or
(B)another person on behalf of the testator:
(i)in the testators presence; and
(ii)under the testators direction; and
(3)attested by two or more credible witnesses who are at least 14 years of age and who subscribe their names to the will in their own handwriting in the testators presence.
Utah Will Execution Requirements

75-2-502. Execution – Witnessed wills – Holographic wills.

(1) Except as provided in Subsection (2) and in Sections 75-2-503, 75-2-506, and 75-2-513, a will shall be:
(a) in writing;
(b) signed by the testator or in the testator's name by some other individual in the testator's conscious presence and by the testator's direction; and
(c) signed by at least two individuals, each of whom signed within a reasonable time after he witnessed either the signing of the will as described in Subsection (1)(b) or the testator's acknowledgment of that signature or acknowledgment of the will.
(2) A will that does not comply with Subsection (1) is valid as a holographic will, whether or not witnessed, if the signature and material portions of the document are in the testator's handwriting.
(3) Intent that the document constitutes the testator's will can be established by extrinsic evidence, including, for holographic wills, portions of the document that are not in the testator's handwriting.
Vermont Will Execution Requirements

14 V.S.A. § 5. Execution of will; requisites

A will shall be:
(1) in writing;
(2) signed in the presence of two or more credible witnesses by the testator or in the testator's name by some other person in the testator's presence and by the testator's express direction; and
(3) attested and subscribed by the witnesses in the presence of the testator and each other.
Virginia Will Execution Requirements

§ 64.2-403. Execution of wills; requirements

A. No will shall be valid unless it is in writing and signed by the testator, or by some other person in the testator's presence and by his direction, in such a manner as to make it manifest that the name is intended as a signature.
B. A will wholly in the testator's handwriting is valid without further requirements, provided that the fact that a will is wholly in the testator's handwriting and signed by the testator is proved by at least two disinterested witnesses.
C. A will not wholly in the testator's handwriting is not valid unless the signature of the testator is made, or the will is acknowledged by the testator, in the presence of at least two competent witnesses who are present at the same time and who subscribe the will in the presence of the testator. No form of attestation of the witnesses shall be necessary.
Washington Will Execution Requirements

RCW 11.12.020 Requisites of wills—Foreign wills.

(1) Every will shall be in writing signed by the testator or by some other person under the testator's direction in the testator's presence, and shall be attested by two or more competent witnesses, by subscribing their names to the will, or by signing an affidavit that complies with RCW 11.20.020(2), while in the presence of the testator and at the testator's direction or request: PROVIDED, That a last will and testament, executed in the mode prescribed by the law of the place where executed or of the testator's domicile, either at the time of the will's execution or at the time of the testator's death, shall be deemed to be legally executed, and shall be of the same force and effect as if executed in the mode prescribed by the laws of this state.
(2) This section shall be applied to all wills, whenever executed, including those subject to pending probate proceedings.
West Virginia Will Execution Requirements

§41-1-3. Must be in writing; witnesses.

No will shall be valid unless it be in writing and signed by the testator, or by some other person in his presence and by his direction, in such manner as to make it manifest that the name is intended as a signature; and moreover, unless it be wholly in the handwriting of the testator, the signature shall be made or the will acknowledged by him in the presence of at least two competent witnesses, present at the same time; and such witnesses shall subscribe the will in the presence of the testator, and of each other, but no form of attestation shall be necessary.
Wisconsin Will Execution Requirements

853.03 Execution of wills.

Every will in order to be validly executed must be in writing and executed with all of the following formalities:
(1) It must be signed by the testator, by the testator with the assistance of another person with the testator's consent or in the testator's name by another person at the testator's direction and in the testator's conscious presence.
(2) 
(am) It must be signed by at least 2 witnesses who signed within a reasonable time after any of the following:
1. The signing of the will as provided under sub. (1), in the conscious presence of the witness.
2. The testator's implicit or explicit acknowledgement of the testator's signature on the will, in the conscious presence of the witness.
3. The testator's implicit or explicit acknowledgement of the will, in the conscious presence of the witness.
(bm) The 2 witnesses required under par. (am) may observe the signing or acknowledgement under par. (am) 1. to 3. at different times.
Wyoming Will Execution Requirements

2-6-112. Will to be in writing; number and competency of witnesses; signature of testator; subscribing witness not to benefit; exception.

Except as provided in the next section, all wills to be valid shall be in writing, or typewritten, witnessed by two (2) competent witnesses and signed by the testator or by some person in his presence and by his express direction. If the witnesses are competent at the time of attesting the execution of the will, their subsequent incompetency shall not prevent the probate and allowance of the will. No subscribing witness to any will can derive any benefit therefrom unless there are two (2) disinterested and competent witnesses to the same, but if without a will the witness would be entitled to any portion of the testator's estate, the witness may still receive the portion to the extent and value of the amount devised.

 

Last Updated: April 18, 2020

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