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!

Klenk Law

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

What Our clients are saying

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

I was referred to Peter after my divorce to put documents together to protect my assets. He suggested a number of documents that would help protect my children and their future. Also, he put together wills, power of attorney and living wills. I initially spoke with him on the phone, he took 30-40 minutes to understand my situation and explain the benefits of having such documents. After a week or two, I met with him in his office and signed the documents. Everything else was remote phone calls and emails. He re-explained these documents and what whom to share. I am in good hands.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Surprisingly easy

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Peter explained things in a way that was easy to understand. Everything was done in the time frame he said it. Could not have been better!

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Like another reviewer, I contacted Peter through his website using the free consultation link, for a question regarding PA inheritance taxes. The question was quite technical and difficult to explain, and the answer was nowhere to be found on the web. Peter grasped precisely what I was asking, and provided a clear, helpful response (with a touch of humor) the very next day.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Mr. Klenk, quickly understood the circumstances presented and provided clear and concise advice. This advice provided me with the information I required to progress the case to my advantage.

Let us put our expertise to work for you.

Free consultation within 24 hours.