What Happens When I Execute My Will?

After the testator has reviewed her Will and made such changes and corrections as may be required, we meet, usually at Lancaster Law Office, to execute the testator’s Will.  When all the needed parties sign the testator’s Will, that is called “executing the Will.”  Two or more witnesses must sign the testator’s Will in the testator’s presence and at the testator’s direction or request.  The signatures are usually affixed either at an attestation clause or upon an affidavit that is attached to the testator’s Will, which affidavit is sworn before a notary public.  RCW 11.12.020.  At Lancaster Law Office, we tend ask witnesses to sign both an attestation clause and an affidavit, which Brad then notarizes.  We also ask the testator to initial and date each page of her Will, in order to make each page unique.

If the testator cannot sign her Will, another party may sign on the testator’s behalf if he signs at the testator’s direction and in the testator’s presence.  RCW 11.12.020.

Valid Wills may be executed in other manners in locations other than Washington, and will be deemed valid in Washington if they are executed in the manner prescribed by the law of that location or of the testator’s place of residence, either at the time of execution or at the time of the testator’s death.  RCW 11.20.020.

After the testator’s Will has been executed in a manner that conforms to Washington law, the testator takes the Will original and such copies as she requests with her for safekeeping.  Lancaster Law Office also keeps a copy of the Will in our client’s permanent file.