Several of the estate planning documents require witnesses to be valid, or, at least, fully effective – the Will, the Medical Power of Attorney and the Living Will. Having witnesses for a Will is not vital, though, it can save headaches down the road.
A Will does not need to be witnessed in Colorado to be valid. A recent change in the law allowed Wills to be valid merely by having the testator’s/testatrix’s signature notarized. However, by executing a Will in this fashion, it may also be “self-proved.” By attesting to a self-proving affidavit contained in a Will, there is a rebuttable presumption that the Will was executed correctly. The presumption is rebuttable, but the burden is then on anyone attacking the authenticity and validity of the document.
A notarized Will is valid, but is not given the same rebuttable presumption. This small provision at the end of a Will is easy to include and execute and can prove very useful if the Will is ever challenge. Make sure that any Will you sign has a self-proving affidavit. However, in a pinch, a notarized Will will work and is better than no Will at all.