How Do You Make a Valid Will In Oregon?

To make a valid will under Oregon law, the will must be:

  1. In writing;
  2. Signed by the testator; and,
  3. Witnessed.

 

The requirements for the creation and execution of a valid will can be found at Oregon Rev. Statutes § 112.235.

Who Can Make a Valid Will In Oregon?

Under Oregon law, any person who is 18 years of age or older OR who has lawfully married or who has been emancipated, and who is of sound mind, may make a valid will.

To be of sound mind (have testamentary capacity) to make a valid will, Oregon law requires that the testator:

  1. Know the natural objects of his or her bounty;
  2. Know the nature and extent of his or her property;
  3. Understand that the person is signing his or her will; and,
  4. Know what the will accomplishes.

 

An Oregon Will Must Be Signed By the Testator

To be valid, an Oregon testator must, in the presence of each of the witnesses:

  1. Sign the will;
  2. Direct one of the witnesses or some other person to sign the name of the testator and the signer’s name own name on the will; or
  3. Acknowledge the signature previously made on the will by the testator or at the testator’s direction.

 

The requirements for a testator’s signature on the will can be found at ORS 112.235.  As set forth under the statute, a testator can direct someone else to sign the testator’s name on the will.  This is generally done when the testator, for some physical reason, is unable to sign his or her own name.  Generally, a testator should sign his or name on the will if he or she is able to physically do so.

An Oregon Will Must Be Witnessed By At Least Two Witnesses

In order to be valid under Oregon law, and Oregon will must be signed and witnessed by at least two witnesses.

The witnesses shall each:

  1. See the testator sign the will;
  2. Hear the testator acknowledge the signature on the will; or
  3. Hear or observe the testator direct some other person to sign the name of the testator.

 

The witnesses must also attest the will by signing the will within a reasonable time before the testator’s death.  The witness requirements for a valid will can be found at Oregon Rev. Statutes § 112.235.

Does a Will Have To Be Notarized In Oregon To Be Valid?

No, a will does not need to be notarized to be valid under Oregon law.

Oregon law does provide that a will can be made self-proving, by the signing of an affidavit by the witnesses and the testator attesting to the execution of the will.  This is done in front of a notary.

The best way to make sure that you have executed a valid will under Oregon law, that accurately carries out your wishes, is to consult with an Oregon probate lawyer.

 

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