Do I Need Witnesses When I Sign My Will?
In the state of Iowa, one of the requirements for a valid Will is that you sign your Will in the presence of at least two witnesses, who will sign the Will as witnesses in the presence of each other and the testator. It is further required that these witnesses be 16 years of age or older, are competent, and are disinterested (cannot be a beneficiary of your Will).
Iowa law also requires that the Will be in writing and should contain a self-proving affidavit, which is an additional statement signed by you and the witnesses and then is notarized. Iowa Probate Courts will further require that the original Will be submitted to the Court. If the original Will cannot be located, Iowa law provides a presumption that you intentionally destroyed your Will for the purpose of revoking it.
While not required, it is recommended that you consult with an attorney in creating your Will to ensure that it is valid under Iowa law. If the Will is not valid, your property and assets become subject to Iowa probate laws and your property may be distributed contrary to your intentions.
For more information or if you have any questions about creating or revising your Will or Estate Plan, feel free to contact the Crimmins & Kehm Law Firm at 515-573-2191.