FAQs About Wills

What is a Self-Proving Affidavit?

by Rania Combs

A self-proving affidavit is a sworn statement that accompanies a Will. In the case of an attested Will, the testator and all witnesses sign it in the presence of a notary.

The self-proving affidavit affirms that the testator properly signed the Will in the presence of two witnesses.

Is it Necessary to Include a Self-Proving Affidavit?

The absence of a self-proving affidavit does not invalidate a Will.

However, having a self-proved Will is beneficial because it eliminates the need for witnesses to appear in a probate proceeding to prove the Will is valid.

Proving up a Will during probate requires witnesses to testify about:

  • whether the testator’s signature is genuine;
  • whether the testator was of sound mind; and
  • whether the testator signed the Will voluntarily and not under duress.

A self-proving affidavit verifies that the Will is authentic without the need for testimony during a probate proceeding. This can be can save time and expense, especially in situations when witnesses die, become incompetent, or move away.

Where Can I Find a Self-Proving Affidavit?

Not every state gives testators the option to add self-proving affidavits to their Wills. The District of Columbia and Ohio do not, as I recently found out while reviewing the Will of a client who had recently moved from Ohio.

There are also a handful of other states in which simply observing the proper formalities when you and your witnesses signed the Will will result in the Will being self-proved. There is no need to add a separate affidavit.

The states that require self-proving affidavits to prove up a Will have statutes that dictate the language the affidavit should include. For example, in Texas, the statute that outlines the requirements of a self-proving affidavit is Section 251.104 of the Texas Estates Code. In North Carolina, the statute is Chapter 31, Article 4A of the North Carolina General Statutes.

If your state gives you the option to add a self-proving affidavit to your Will, do it.

This article was originally published on April 26, 2010, and updated on July 30, 2021.

About Rania

Rania graduated magna cum laude from South Texas College of Law Houston and is the founder of Rania Combs Law, PLLC. She has been licensed to practice law since 1994 and enjoys helping clients in Texas and North Carolina create estate plans that give them peace of mind.

Learn more about how we can help you.

Get Started

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Bob Geruso

    June 14, 2014 at 5:46pm

    Since a holographic will has no witnesses, can (or is it necessary) a self-proving affidavit still be utilized?

    Thank you

    1. Rania Combs

      June 24, 2014 at 3:28pm

      Yes. A self-proving affidavit can be utilized for a holographic Will.

      1. William Jorgenson

        August 11, 2018 at 5:42am

        Does the self-proving affidavit require notorization?

        1. Rania Combs

          August 13, 2018 at 1:10pm


      2. Robert Cormier

        December 24, 2018 at 5:09am

        Ms. Combs, in the case of the holographic will (which does not require two witnesses or notarization) does the self-proving affidavit (which you say requires notarization) require two witnesses? Thank you.

        1. Rania Combs

          January 1, 2019 at 10:34pm

          The following article may answer your question: Can I Add a Self-Proving Affidavit to a Holographic Will?.

  2. Doris Townsend

    July 17, 2014 at 1:43pm

    Can a person type up their own will and sign it before two witnesses and a notary public, or does it have to be hand written?

    1. Rania Combs

      June 17, 2017 at 8:45am

      A Will that is not wholly in a testator’s handwriting should be in writing, signed by the testator, or another person at the testator’s direction and in the testator’s presence, and attested in the testator’s presence by at least two credible witnesses over the age of 14.

  3. Gsween

    July 29, 2014 at 3:24pm

    In Texas, does a typed last will and testament still need 2 witness signitures if the document has been notarized without the 2 witness signatures?


    1. Rania Combs

      July 29, 2014 at 4:14pm

      Yes. To be valid, a typewritten Will must be signed by the testator, or another person at his direction and in his presence, and attested in his presence by at least two credible witnesses over the age of 14. Just being notarized is insufficient. For more information read: The Requirements of a Valid Will in Texas.

  4. Barbara Wald

    February 5, 2015 at 7:10am

    Thank you in advance. Is it legal for my husband and I to have one combined will thereby leaving to each, all assets?

    1. Rania Combs

      June 17, 2017 at 8:42am

      You should each have your own Will.

  5. Douglas Naegele

    August 10, 2015 at 10:47am

    Does a will written by an attorney in Connecticut have validity in the state of Texas?

    1. Rania Combs

      August 18, 2015 at 12:57pm

      The following article may answer your question: Is the Will I Signed in Another State Valid in Texas?

  6. Laura

    December 12, 2015 at 11:57am

    If I leave everything to my husband do I need a executor as well?

    1. Rania Combs

      December 14, 2015 at 12:20pm

      Dear Laura,

      An Executor is a person who will be appointed to:

      1. inventory and collect the decedent’s assets;
      2. manage the assets during administration;
      3. receive and pay the claims of creditors and tax collectors; and
      4. distribute the remaining assets to the decedent’s beneficiaries.

      Your husband can be both the executor and beneficiary.

  7. Rajan Krishnan

    February 24, 2016 at 1:06pm

    The witnesses have to see the person sign, right? They do not have to read the will or verify that the document being signed is indeed a will and testament, right?

    1. Rania Combs

      February 26, 2016 at 5:15pm

      The witnesses have to attest that they heard the testator say the document was his Last Will and Testament and that the testator signed the Will and wanted each of them to sign as witnesses. The witnesses do not have to read the Will.

      1. Jan Meier

        July 7, 2016 at 7:27pm

        If two witnesses sign a will, must it be notarized?

        1. Rania Combs

          July 9, 2016 at 12:14pm

          A Will in Texas does not need to be notarized in order to be valid; however, adding a self-proving affidavit, which must be notarized, to a Will eliminates the need for witnesses to appear in a probate proceeding to testify about the validity of a Will, which saves time and expense.

  8. Steve Bauer

    June 2, 2017 at 8:17am

    Can somone who has witnessed a will signing (along with another person) also be the person who notarized the signature of the testator?

    1. Rania Combs

      June 17, 2017 at 8:39am

      The following article may answer your question: Is A Will Signed By One Witness Valid If It is Also Signed By A Notary?

  9. Barbara

    July 17, 2017 at 12:40pm

    Where can I get a form for a self-proving affidavit to accompany a will being made in Texas?

    1. Rania Combs

      July 17, 2017 at 1:27pm

      The Requirements for Self-Proving Affidavits can be found in Section 251.104 of the Texas Estates Code.

  10. John

    January 12, 2018 at 10:00pm

    Is it necessary for the two witnesses to be present at the time the self proving affidavit is notarized by the authorized Notary?

    1. Rania Combs

      January 15, 2018 at 2:32pm


  11. susan gordon

    May 11, 2018 at 6:13pm

    Am trying to avoid probate. I have a legal will and TODD. Is it still necessary to have the aforementioned affadidavit ?

    1. Rania Combs

      May 29, 2018 at 5:19pm

      Lawyers include a self-proving affidavit because it eliminates the need for witnesses to appear in a probate proceeding to testify about the validity of a Will, which saves time and expense.

  12. Kathy

    July 28, 2018 at 7:14pm

    My mother & father in law have 15 acre land that we both live on. She wants to leave her half or share of the land to my husband and me, and my father in law can leave do what he wants with his half. They have 4 kids(adults) including my husband. I was going to have her write out whatever she wants done and then do a self-proving affidavit but can my husband and I be witness to sign it? or does she need two outside the family?

    1. Rania Combs

      July 29, 2018 at 11:15am

      Wills and self-proving affidavits that accompany them should be witnessed to two disinterested witnesses. Please encourage your mother-in-law to consult with a lawyer to ensure her wishes are reflected.

  13. Sarah

    June 29, 2020 at 10:48pm

    My husband and I are making plans in case we do not survive the pandemic. Can the executor be our oldest daughter, age 15? I have no siblings and my parents are disabled. At best, we have our child’s godparents.

    1. Rania Combs

      July 3, 2020 at 2:09pm

      A minor child will be unable to serve as executor. Please stay safe and take good care of yourselves during this scary time.