Is it okay to sign a will at a later date?
Hey, it’s Guy DiMartino a Northwest Indiana estate planning and probate lawyer. Do you have any questions about an Indiana state plan? You can always set up an appointment with me at indianastatemeeting.com we can get together by phone, we can get together in person in the office or we can do something by video conference.
I was meeting with some folks the other day and they wanted to come in for a Will signing, but they wanted to come in after hours. And I said, well, we can’t do that because we don’t have the proper number of witnesses. And they said something to the effect, well can’t we have take the wills with us and have somebody else witness them later? And I said, yeah, that really doesn’t work. And this is the reason why.
You see there are certain formalities to signing a will in the state of Indiana. One of the things that’s important is that you have to make sure that the person who is making the will the testator is competent.
So, in Indiana at the end of a will, we have a self-proving affidavit or a self-proving statement where two witnesses attest that they saw the person sign the will, that the person had a good mental faculties, that the person knew what they were doing, that the person was not unduly influenced or signed the will under duress. Like, there wasn’t somebody standing on the side of the person with a gun saying, sign the darn will.
So the two witnesses attest that all this happened and it was all above board. If the will was partially signed and then finish up at a later time, it can set up a situation where the will could be challenged because the formalities were not followed.
In summary, generally, it’s not a good idea to play fast and loose with the rules that require signing of the document.
And this is one of the main problems that we see when folks go on line to the different document production companies and prepare wills, they get the, will, and they print it out. Sometimes they don’t read it. Sometimes they don’t quite understand some of the terms in the will, but then a lot of times it’ll fail at the end when it comes to the proper signing of the will and the proper attestation and witnesses to the will.
You know, most of the time, if that happens, it might not be a problem after the person passes away, as long as nobody’s contesting the will. And as long as the folks in the will are family members and that would be going to equally under intestate succession. So even if the will failed, the stuff would be split up the way decedent wanted to based on the laws of the state of Indiana. So it’s really not a good idea to play fast and loose with the signing rules of a well, if you have any questions about Indiana state matter, you can always give me a call. I am Guy DiMartino have yourself a great day.