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It’s Time to Make Will Attestation Parties a Thing


When you were young, friendship was beautiful and pure.  The highlight of your day was riding the school bus after school, sitting next to a friend who wasn’t in any of your classes and didn’t get off the bus at the same stop as you, singing, “We Will Rock You” and laughing until you snorted, for no apparent reason.  It was the same routine every day for the whole school year, and you never got tired of it.  Socializing as an adult is considerably less fun.  People boast about their children’s accomplishments, kvetch about how much they have to pay in property taxes, and pass judgment on everything and everyone.  If anything, socializing makes you lonelier.  If only it were possible to convene a meaningful social event at your age, one that served a purpose and wasn’t just for show, one where you don’t have to pretend to be younger or wealthier than you are.  Estate planning can be an opportunity to show your friends how much you appreciate and trust them, and not just by leaving them property in your will.  Inviting your friends to serve as witnesses to your will is great for your own peace of mind and for your relationships with your friends.  The first step is to phrase the provisions of your will in the best possible way, a task which may require the help of a Washington, D.C. estate planning lawyer.

What Does Pure Friendship for the AARP Set Look Like?

According to Maryland law, a will is not legally enforceable unless it bears the signature of the testator and the signatures of two witnesses.  The testator and both witnesses must all be in each other’s presence when they sign the will.  This is all the reason you need to invite two friends to your house for a will signing party.  For triple the fun, the witnesses can also bring their own wills for you to sign.

From a legal standpoint, any adult can act as a witness to your will, from a close family member to a complete stranger.  The best choice, though, is people you trust and who have no ulterior motives, whose only wish in the matter is for your will to be legally valid.  Maryland law does not prohibit beneficiaries of the will from signing it as witnesses.  While it is a good idea to tell the beneficiaries of your will about its contents, if you choose to, it is not a good idea to have them sign it as witnesses.  When the beneficiaries witness the will, there is too much room for speculation about undue influence, especially if the testator has disinherited other close family members who did not sign the will as witnesses.

Contact Tobin O’Connor Ewing About Formalizing a Legally Enforceable Will

A Washington, D.C. estate planning attorney can help you draft your will so that you and two of your closest friends can sign it in style.  Contact Tobin, O’Connor, and Ewing in Washington, D.C. or call 202-362-5900.




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