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Stephen Asbel, with Reger Rizzo Darnall. Stephen Asbel, with Reger Rizzo Darnall.

I have practiced trust and estate law for over 30 years and like any estate planning attorney in Pennsylvania, I have a long-established routine for clients signing wills. The client signs the will in the presence of two adult, disinterested witnesses and a notary. The witnesses then sign the will as subscribing witnesses to facilitate future probate under 20 Pa.C.S. Section 3132. The testator and the witnesses also sign an acknowledgment and affidavit to make the will self-proving under 20 Pa.C.S. Section 3132.1 so that when the time comes to probate the will, there will be no need to produce witnesses at the Register of Wills. In most cases, signings occur in the office. For clients who are unable to travel, I occasionally will bring along a notary from the office and conduct the will signing in the client’s home. Alternatively, an attorney may attend the signing without a notary present and then the attorney makes an affidavit before a notary. It is a time-tested, simple, reliable procedure.

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