Must a will be witnessed?

There is no requirement that a will be witnessed by anyone at the time of execution. However, after the death of the testator, two witnesses, either subscribing witnesses or non-subscribing witnesses, must verify the signature on the document as the signature of the testator. A will witnessed by subscribing witnesses at the time of execution can better survive a will contest because the testator's legal capacity to make a will can be verified more easily. Wills can be made self-proving if the testator and two subscribing witnesses sign proper acknowledgements at the time of execution. A self-proving will eliminates the necessity for witnesses to prove the execution of the will after the death of the decedent.

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1. What is a will?
2. Should everyone have a will?
3. Is my will on file with the Register of Wills?
4. What happens if you don't have a will?
5. When is a will effective?
6. Must a will be witnessed?
7. When should a will be changed?
8. If I am named in a will, can I simply assume responsibilities to carry out the terms of the will?
9. If a short certificate is needed to liquidate or receive certain assets of a decedent, can I purchase one from the Register of Wills?
10. Does a valid will avoid Pennsylvania Inheritance Taxes?
11. Must a lawyer write a will?