To make a valid will under Connecticut law, the will must be:
- In writing;
- Signed by the testator; and,
- Attested by two witnesses.
The requirements for a valid will in Connecticut are located at CT Gen Stat §45a-251.
Who Can Make a Valid Will In Connecticut?
Any person eighteen years of age or older, and of sound mind, may make a valid will under Connecticut law. CT Gen Stat § 45a-250.
To be of sound mind (to have testamentary capacity) under Connecticut law, the testator must generally understand the type and extent of his property, know the natural objects of his bounty, and know what it means to make a will. The standard for testamentary capacity is a lower standard that that required to enter into a contract.
A Connecticut Will Must Be Signed By the Testator
A Connecticut will must be signed by the testator. CT Gen Stat §45a-251.
A Connecticut Will Must Be Witnessed By Two Witnesses
To be valid, a Connecticut will must be attested by two witnesses, each of whom sign the will in the testator’s presence. CT Gen Stat §45a-251.
If a devise or bequest is made to a subscribing witness, or to the husband or wife of such subscribing witness, the devise or bequest shall be void unless the will is legally attested without the signature of such witness, or unless such witness is an heir to the testator. CT Gen Stat §45a-258.
Therefore, an interested witness is allowed to sign the will as one of the subscribing witnesses. The gift to that person is void if they are a necessary subscribing witness, unless they are an heir to the testator.
Does a Connecticut Will Have To Be Notarized To Be Valid?
No, a will does not have to be notarized to make it a valid will under Connecticut law.
A will can be made self-proving, which will make the testimony of the witnesses to the will unnecessary to admit the will to probate. Making a will-self-proving is done by the witnesses signing an affidavit in the presence of a notary or any officer authorized to administer oaths.
Connecticut General Statutes section 45a-285 governs self-proving affidavits and states:
Any or all of the attesting witnesses to any will may, at the request of the testator or, after his decease, at the request of the executor or any person interested under it, make and sign an affidavit before any officer authorized to administer oaths in or out of this state, stating such facts as they would be required to testify to in court to prove such will. The affidavit shall be written on such will or, if that is impracticable, on some paper attached thereto. The sworn statement of any such witness so taken shall be accepted by the Court of Probate as if it had been taken before such court.
The best way to make sure that you have complied with the requirements to make a valid will under Connecticut law (and to make sure that your will carries out your testamentary intent) is to work with a Connecticut probate lawyer.