24th Mar 2020
This blog post highlights a couple of the main reasons the law requires witnesses for wills. If you are reading along, this is the first of three questions in the last blog post.
Witnesses help insure that the person whose name is on the will is the same person who signed the will. In this area, witnesses help prevent everything from forgery (one person intentionally signing a will for or as another, for deceitful or fraudulent purposes) – to honest mistakes in identity – to mistakes of name or other errors in the document.
To Prevent Bad or Tricky Things
Even if the person who signs the will is the correct person, witnesses help insure that other bad or tricky things do not creep in to the will-making process, such as:
-Undue Influence or Duress. Someone threatening, forcing, or exerting improper pressure on the testator to make a will they do not want or that favors the threatening party.
-Incapacity. The person making the will needs to understand it and not be subject to any mental or physical issues that would keep them from understanding.
-Minority. The person needs to be of legal age of majority to make a will (18 in most states).
-Fraud. Trickery of all types.