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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Lars Ingerman Iversen had three children during his first marriage, which ended in 1975. His second marriage, to the woman who is now known as Anna E. Iversen Schoenwandt, ended in 1993, and he did not remarry prior to his death in August 2003. In a one-page, typed document dated April 2, 2000, Iversen bequeathed all of his estate to Schoenwandt and granted her full power of attorney. Iversen’s signature was notarized, but the document did not include the signatures of two attesting witnesses. When Schoenwandt attempted to probate the purported will, her stepdaughter and daughter-in-law filed affidavits stating that they saw Iversen sign the will and declared that his property should pass to Schoenwandt. The trial court admitted the will to probate and named Schoenwandt as the estate’s independent administratrix. Iversen’s children from his first marriage appeal, saying the will doesn’t comply with Probate Code 59(a), which requires that a written, nonholographic will: 1. be signed by the testator in person or by another person for him at his direction and in his presence; and 2. be attested by two or more credible witnesses over 14 “who shall subscribe their names thereto in their own handwriting in the presence of the testator.” Schoenwandt counters that the will is in “substantial compliance” with that section. HOLDING:Reversed and remanded. The court agrees that Probate Code also allows a will to be self-proven so that the testimony of the attesting witnesses becomes unnecessary to probate the will if affidavits of the testator and the witnesses are made in “substantial compliance” with an affidavit form prescribed in 59(b). The court, however, finds that nowhere in 59(b) does it state that the concept of “substantial compliance” applies to the attesting signature requirements of the will itself. Additionally, no self-proving affidavits were offered in this case. “None of the cases cited by Schoenwandt stand for the principle that”substantial compliance’ is sufficient for the attesting witness requirement of a written nonholographic will not accompanied by a self-proving affidavit.” OPINION:McCoy, J.; Holman, Walker and McCoy, JJ.

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