Most states require that at the time you sign your will you have two witnesses who sign 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.
Instead, the Register of Wills will accept the original will into probate if two witnesses under oath at the time identify your signature. For some people this is easy, as family members might easily recognize the signature. For other people, finding someone to authenticate a signature can be difficult.
To avoid complications, it is best to have two Subscribing Witnesses and, in addition, add a “Self-Proving” page to the will. If the Self-Proving page has the proper acknowledgements and affidavits, and if the page is signed by the testator and the Subscribing Witnesses at the time the of the will’s execution, the Self-Proving page eliminates the need for witnesses to appear in the Register’s office for probate. The Self-Proving page saves time and reduces costs.
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!