SELF PROVING WILLS TO SPEED UP PROBATE
Under the old New Jersey Probate Rules required one of the two witnesses to a will to travel and appear in the surrogate’s office and sign a paper to certify they were a witness. This often created problems when the witness was deceased, moved away, or simply could not be located. Some witnesses would require a $500 fee to simply sign a surrogate paper.
The New Jersey Legislature passed a law to create a new type of will called a “Self-Proving Will.” In such a will, the person for whom the will is made will sign. Then two witnesses sign. Then the attorney or notary must sign; with certain statutory language to indicate the will is self-proving. When done properly, the execution will not have to locate any witnesses. This usually saves time and money. If your will is not “self-proving” or if you are unsure, schedule an appointment with an elder law attorney.