Witnesses and Notaries

Witnesses and Notaries

A living will must be witnessed by individuals who can swear that the document reflects the maker's wishes. These witnesses must be independent, and can't have an interest in receiving your property after your death. They shouldn't be related to you or be responsible for your health care bills. In other words, you should have witnesses that will not profit by making decisions against your best interests.

States differ as to their requirements for how the living will must be signed. All states require the person making the living will to sign and date it. What differs is who must witness the person signing. Depending on the state, the required witnesses may be:

  • two or more witnesses
  • two witnesses and a notary public, or
  • either two witnesses or a notary public