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Sign on the dotted line… Does a will need a witness’ signature to be valid?

Date:20 JUN 2018
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No will shall be valid unless the testator’s signature is made or acknowledged by the testator in the presence of two or more witnesses present at the same time. Each witness must then attest and sign the will.

This is perhaps one of the most fundamental requirements for a will to be valid as laid out in s 9 of the Wills Act 1837. But what does 'sign' mean? Is an actual signature required? This was what the court was asked to determine in Payne & Anor v Payne [2018] EWCA Civ 985.

The facts of the case are as follows. The deceased made two wills one in 1998 and the other in 2012. The 1998 will appointed his second wife as executor and left most of his estate to her. On the will the deceased had written his name in the space reserved for his signature. Underneath his name were spaces for two witnesses to each write their name address and occupation. Both witnesses had provided that information in capital letters. There was no separate designated space for each witness to place their signature. Consequently...

Read the full article here.