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    Notarization of Wills

    Hey all. I have put together a will for my wife and I. I've read that its best to have it notarized so that it is self-proving. Anyone have any recommendations concerning this? Anyone know where I can find a notary that would do a will? My credit union said they do not notarize wills. Thanks. Or should I have not bothered writing our wills and paid an attorney to do it? I used Quicken Willmaker software.



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    Re: Notarization of Wills

    Quote Originally Posted by jeff0514 View Post
    Hey all. I have put together a will for my wife and I. I've read that its best to have it notarized so that it is self-proving. Anyone have any recommendations concerning this? Anyone know where I can find a notary that would do a will? My credit union said they do not notarize wills. Thanks. Or should I have not bothered writing our wills and paid an attorney to do it? I used Quicken Willmaker software.
    Depends on what your will does. If you don't have a lot of assets, and your will doesn't differ much from the intestacy statute, doing it yourself is probably okay. If there's any estate tax risk or you have a complicated distribution plan, you'd probably be better off with an attorney. I would recommend having it notarized, so that you have confirmation of all of the required signatures. A searchable database of notaries in Iowa is available on the Sec. of State's website. Be very careful that you are following the letter of the law in regards to the required witnesses, both in number and in having them all present to witness your signature and to sign. If your will is uncomplicated, and you're confident in following the law, doing it yourself is okay. If not, a simple will preparation by an attorney will generally cost you between $100 and $200.



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    Re: Notarization of Wills

    My family has had some issues with interpretation of the will. My suggestion is to have a lawyer do it. Then after he does it, take it to another lawyer and make sure he interprets everything in exactly the same way. The one in our family was more complicated though since it included a trust that owned a lot of land.



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    Re: Notarization of Wills

    We don't have a lot of assets right now, so I'm not too concerned about that at this point. I suppose I could just have an attorney do it for the peace of mind. Anyone recommend any attorneys in the Ankeny area or possibly Des Moines?



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    Re: Notarization of Wills

    Quote Originally Posted by jeff0514 View Post
    Hey all. I have put together a will for my wife and I. I've read that its best to have it notarized so that it is self-proving. Anyone have any recommendations concerning this? Anyone know where I can find a notary that would do a will? My credit union said they do not notarize wills. Thanks. Or should I have not bothered writing our wills and paid an attorney to do it? I used Quicken Willmaker software.
    THE ONLY function of a notary is to notarize that your signature is yours, nothing else. They are not there to give advice, etc. If they question whether or not to notarize something, I would call them on what their duty as a notary is. I have before, and they started notarizing. Notaries sometime think their role is something else, I think - they are not responsible for the document, just that your signature is yours.


    Last edited by CyPride; 11-13-2009 at 01:54 PM.
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    Re: Notarization of Wills

    Quote Originally Posted by CyPride View Post
    THE ONLY function of a notary is to notarize that your signature is yours, nothing else. They are not there to give advice, etc. If they question whether or not to notarize something, I would call them on what their duty as a notary is. I have before, and they started notarizing.
    This. Even more so, anybody can be come a notary. Even I am one!



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    Re: Notarization of Wills

    On a somewhat related note ... has anyone ever used "Legal Zoom" or some other online legal service for "simple", legal docs?

    For example, I need to file a quit claim deed and an accompanying affidavit - but I don't really want to spend $1,000 to do it.



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    Re: Notarization of Wills

    Max - you can very easily make up your own QCD. I made up my own for my own real estate transactions. No magic. Copy one from the 'net or from your county's recorder's office. And, you wouldn't spend $1k having an attorney do same. If you are in Polk County, and want to use an attorney, I will refer you to one.


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    Re: Notarization of Wills

    Go to an attorney. There are additional formalities to have a valid will like witnesses. I don't believe just notarizing your signatures without witnesses will do the trick. You did not say if you have kids. That is also a factor in what you put in the will.



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    Re: Notarization of Wills

    We have two kids, so the draft will I have written includes who is to serve as guardians and who is to serve as trustee over the trust that would be established by our will. We decided to have these be the same people. I have identified some people to serve as witnesses to us signing our wills, but would still like to find someone to notarize them.



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    Re: Notarization of Wills

    Since we are on the topic of notaries does anyone know where I can find one in Ames? I need to get my FE application notarized and Google hasn't been super helpful.



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    Re: Notarization of Wills

    I had a lawyer (fellow CF'er) do my will. I wanted it done correctly, and now I sleep better knowing it was done right. Did not cost all that much either. Well worth the piece of mind.


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    Re: Notarization of Wills

    Quote Originally Posted by CycloneNorth View Post
    Since we are on the topic of notaries does anyone know where I can find one in Ames? I need to get my FE application notarized and Google hasn't been super helpful.
    Iowa Secretary of State - Matt Schultz If you go to search databases you can search for notaries in Ames. It looks like there are a lot.



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    Re: Notarization of Wills

    Quote Originally Posted by brianhos View Post
    I had a lawyer (fellow CF'er) do my will. I wanted it done correctly, and now I sleep better knowing it was done right. Did not cost all that much either. Well worth the piece of mind.
    At least it didn't cost you an arm and a leg.


    I'd agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

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    Re: Notarization of Wills

    Quote Originally Posted by CycloneNorth View Post
    Since we are on the topic of notaries does anyone know where I can find one in Ames? I need to get my FE application notarized and Google hasn't been super helpful.
    If you're a student, student legal services in the MU may be able to help. My wife and I got our marriage application notarized there. If you're out of school I don't know if they'll do that.


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