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.