Who’s Will is This Again?

In my previous post “So Who’s Will is This?” I focused on the importance of clearly identifying the testator of a will. While utilizing suggestions I offered in that post remain useful, I here want to discuss some of the basic rules that apply signatures on a will. Though these vary by jurisdiction, here are a few general guidelines worth understanding:

  1. Any mark can serve as the testator’s signature on the document, so long as the mark is intended to function like a signature, i.e. as the testator’s validating mark on the will.
  2. The mark or signature can be located anywhere on the will.
  3. The mark or signature need not even be written by the testator, as long as the mark is written in the testator’s presence and under his/her authorization.
  4. Nor does the will need signed in the presence of witnesses, but the testator must declare to the witnesses that the mark or signature is indeed a symbol that the will is his or hers.


Image by: tonyhall