In the Colorado Probate Code, CRS 15-11-501 thru 15-11-506, there are four procedures defined for executing a Colorado will (last will and testament). Two procedures require a notary, and two do not require a notary. See Colorado laws for executing a will.
Four Methods to Create a Colorado Will
- A holographic (handwritten) will does not require a witness or notary. CRS 15-11-502(2)
- A witnessed will requires the signer (testator) and two or more witnesses to sign, but no notary is required. CRS 15-11-502(1)(c)(I)
- A self-proving will requires the signer (testator) and two witnesses to appear before a notary and make a sworn statement (affidavit) that the will was signed voluntarily, the signer was at least 18 years of age, of sound mind, understood the purpose of the document, and was not under any constraint or undue influence. CRS 15-11-504
- A notarized will requires the signer to appear before a notary and make an acknowledgment that he/she understood the purpose of the document and signed voluntarily. No witnesses are needed. CRS 15-11-502(1)(c)(II)
The advantage of using a notary is that the notary verifies the ID of the signer and any witnesses, takes a sworn statement or acknowledgment as required, dates and stamps the document with a notary seal, and records the document signing in the notary journal, providing notarial evidence of the transaction.
A self-proving Colorado will can speed up the probate process, since it includes a sworn affidavit of the witnesses as evidence.
Colorado Legal Forms
Be careful, state laws vary. If you use a do-it-yourself will legal form, make sure it follows your current state laws. Always check your state laws or with a knowledgeable attorney for the correct procedure for signing, witnessing or notarizing a Colorado will or in any other state.
Some wills refer to a separate Tangible Personal Property Letter or Memorandum, for giving specific items to a beneficiary.
Note: A male signer of a will is known as a testator. A female signer is historically known as a testatrix. But, in more recent years, the word testator is often used for a male or female signer. In the Colorado Probate Code, CRS 15-10-201. General definitions, (55) “Testator” includes an individual of either sex.
Disclaimer: This article is not be used or considered as legal advice. For legal advice, contact a licensed, competent attorney.
[Last-Modified Date 2019-01-28] add Tangible Personal Property Letter