Skip to Content

We are a Veteran Owned Business, providing 20% discounts for Veterans, First Responders, Elementary and High School teachers. Please contact us to set up a phone or Zoom meeting. Taking care of you and your family, It's What We Do!

Will the Register of Wills Reject my Pennsylvania Will if I Have no Witnesses?

Posted on Thu Mar 6, 2014, on Estate Planning

From Our “Ask a Question” mailbag: “Will the Register of Wills Reject my Pennsylvania Will if I Have no Witnesses?”

Most recently updated April 27th, 2018.

Witnesses and Wills.

Most states require that at the time you sign your will you have two witnesses.  Usually, these witnesses must under your name. These are known as “Subscribing Witnesses”. Pennsylvania is an exception to this common practice. In Pennsylvania, you need no Subscribing Witness when you sign your will.

What if There are no Subscribing Witnesses?

In Pennsylvania, if you have no witnesses a will can still be respected.  The executor can still bring the will and death certificate to the Register of Wills. Each county has a Register of Wills tasked with authenticating wills.  If you have no subscribing witnesses, the Register of Wills will accept the original will into probate if you can provide two witnesses who, under oath, identify your signature. For some people this is easy.  Often family members might easily recognize the signature. For other people, finding someone to authenticate a signature can be difficult.  Further, this process takes more time and can add expense to the estate.

Avoid Complications, Secure Two Subscribing Witnesses.

To avoid complications, it is best to have two Subscribing Witnesses and, in addition, add a “Self-Proving” page to the will.the Self-Proving page eliminates the need for witnesses to appear in the Register’s office for probate.  To qualify, the Self-Proving must have the proper acknowledgments and affidavits.  Further, at the will’s execution, the testator and the Subscribing Witnesses must sign the page.  The Self-Proving page saves time and reduces costs.

Will the Register of Wills Reject my Pennsylvania Will if I Have no Witnesses?

It is possible for the Register to accept a will without subscribing witnesses in Pennsylvania.  But, to save time and expense have your experienced estate planning lawyer arrange for two witnesses and a Self-Proving page.

If you have any other questions about Pennsylvania Probate, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation. Wills, Trusts, and Estates, It’s all we do!

Will the Register of Wills Reject my Pennsylvania Will if I Have no Witnesses

Peter Klenk, Estate Planning Lawyer

 

Tags:

Estate Planning, Estate Planning Attorney, Estate Planning Lawyer, Kelly Barse, Pennsylvania, Peter Klenk

Peter KlenkPeter Klenk

What Our clients are saying

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Qiana Wright

Great friendly staff

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Anita R.

Peter came highly recommended by a close friend to do our estate planning. We have been putting off for years. He is knowledgeable, professional and easy to work with.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Klenk Law is an exceptional practice. Their fine lawyers and staff team up to produce excellent results for their clients. They excel at explaining the often cryptic laws and policies that govern estate planning right down to the complexities of the various "trust" frameworks. Peter himself manages each client together with his great team, and he has a rare quality to be both a walking encyclopedia of planning minutia and also one of the most likable lawyers I have ever had the pleasure of dealing with. He is truly generous in intellect and in his personal approach to getting the "big picture" for complex family structures. I trust him implicitly to help me make the right choices for the future. In short, Klenk Law is a gem of a firm.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Stephen T.

Peter and his staff handled all of our needs in a very professional and timely matter.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

A Google User

Peter Klenk was great in leading us in the estate planning process.He was clear in describing the various steps and what they would accomplish. We were well satisfied and pleased that we had Peter to guide us.

Let us put our expertise to work for you.

Free consultation within 24 hours.