There are certain things state law requires a person to do in order for a will to be valid. There are other will-related actions that such laws do not require, but do make available as an option. In Massachusetts, one of the things that falls into the latter category is having a self-proving affidavit for one’s will.
What is a self-proving affidavit? It is a document in which the testator and their witnesses acknowledge, though signature, the will’s validity, and these acknowledgements are done before a notary public.
Massachucets law allows self-proving affidavits to be formed in relation to a will both concurrently with or after a will’s signing.
What are the advantages of having a self-proving affidavit for a will? When a will has been validly self-proved, the will’s witnesses will generally not have to be called in to prove the will after the testator’s death. This can greatly simplify the process of proving a will’s validity.
As this underscores, there are various things a person can do with their will (and other parts of their estate plan) that could help with reducing the complexity of the probate of their estate. When taking these sorts of probate simplification measures, doing them correctly can be key, as errors with such measures could cause the measures to not have their desired effect. Individuals with questions about how to make their will self-proving or implement other measures aimed at trying to make the future probate of their estate simpler should take their questions to a lawyer with a strong background in estate planning.
Source: FindLaw, “Signing a Will, Accessed March 18, 2016