I live in PA and we recently completed a will. The lawyer who drafted our wills stated that my wife and I could witness each other's will. Because his office is small (two lawyers and a paralegal), there weren't enough witnesses to go around.

I searched on Google and it looks like PA doesn't require witnesses to a last will as long as the person signs at the end of the document? I assume he knows what he's doing since his practice does a lot of estate planning. Should I be worried that my wife and the lawyer signed as witnesses?

1 Answer 1


Every state requires at least two witnesses to a will unless it is entirely written in your own handwriting. A lawyer as a witness is fine. A spouse as a witness is not ideal as she would be an interested party if there was a dispute over whether it was executed. It may not be prohibited, but I would never do that in my practice ever. I discontinued a will signing just last week because we only had a lawyer and a spouse and not other witnesses. I would be somewhat concerned.

  • This is where I was looking. legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/LI/…
    – sdot257
    Dec 1, 2016 at 3:39
  • 1
    This website of a PA lawyer clarifies: paelderlaw.com/do-i-need-witnesses-to-my-will-in-pennsylvania While a witness at the time of signing for the will to actually be valid, this is not the best practice (and it might not be honored at all if you die in another state). And while a spouse may be allowed as a witness, there are lots of times when that is not the best practice if disputes arise. If there is no dispute at death, it may not turn out to be a problem, but it could be a problem at death if there is a will contest and the interested spouse has to testify. I wouldn't do it.
    – ohwilleke
    Dec 1, 2016 at 3:57

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