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Signature of witness required to probate a notarized will?

By: Shivendra Pratap Singh
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Question: I want to know whether the signature of a witness is required to probate a notarized will. I purchased a property and the owner left me a notarized will. He gave me the right for transfer, sale, mortgage. Her legal  heir (2 sons) have no intention to get that property. Her 2 sons are the only witness of the will. One son has died. 

My question is, can I the sole executor can probate the will with a death certificate? Will I require a witness’s signature ? I am worried that the witness who is also the legal heir can refuse to be a witness or even ask money to testify when probating the will ?

Question from: West Bengal

You are a sole executor of the will and probate is mandatory in the State of West Bengal. Thus you should file a petition in the court of the District Judge for the grant of probate. You have to produce in the court the original will and death certificate of the testatrix. 

The court will issue a notice to the legal heirs of testator/testatrix (maker of will). In your case, the legal heirs of the testatrix are the witnesses. They have attested the will and they never raised any objection about the authenticity of will. 

Whether signature of witness is required for probate

Signature of witness is not required for the filing of a probate petition. You are an executor of the will therefore, you should take a probate. You are not bound to produce the signature of witnesses. File a probate petition along with these documents:

  • Original will
  • Death certificate of testator
  • Court fee
  • Name and address of testator’s legal heirs

The legal heir cannot ask money for verification of will. This will is already registered and attested in the due course of law. Therefore, it proves that the will is genuine. If there is any doubt or suspicion the legal heir will raise an objection. When the court will notice the legal heir then he can either accept the will or raise an objection. In case of objection the court will convert the probate petition into a regular civil suit.

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