How to Sign a Will the Right Way - Our Guide

A will is a legal document that allows you to state your wishes and have a say in what happens after your death, specifically on how your property and assets will be distributed. Signing your will is simple enough, but you still have to make sure that you go about it the right way. The process of signing a will before your witnesses is called attestation. Aside from the obvious, which is understanding what is included in your will, there are things that you need to keep in mind before the attestation. This article will be your guide to making sure that you sign a will correctly.

 

Don’t Forget to Date Your Will

It is crucial that you date your will when signing it. This is to confirm that this document is truly your most recent will. However, keep in mind that it may be possible that a judge may approve a will without a date if the same people benefit as would have benefitted if you had died intestate.

 

Sign Using Your Usual Signature

If you can no longer sign the way that you used to - perhaps due to old age that causes your hand to be unsteady - you should still sign using your normal signature. Your witnesses will still be able to verify that the signature was really written by you.

 

Sign Your Name at the Bottom of the Will

Your will needs to be signed at the end of the document. There is no need to sign anywhere else on the document.

 

You Need Two Witnesses

There need to be two witnesses to confirm that you have signed your will. The reason that you need two witnesses is to make sure that at least one of them can be contacted, is still alive and has not moved overseas. Although having two witnesses from the same family is not against the law, it is still a better idea to have two unrelated people as your witnesses.

 

Witnesses Should Write Their Names Instead of Autographs

People often assume that witnesses must sign their names by providing an autograph. After all, this is how we do our businesses, from proving identity on a cheque to signing a contract. However, the purpose of having witnesses is to be able to find and reach them if necessary. This means that a legible name that is printed clearly is required so that the witnesses can be identified. Also, writing a name and address by hand will have enough words to allow one to verify the witness from their handwriting, thus preventing fraud in the future. Therefore, make sure that your witnesses write their names down on your will, not their autographs.

 

Both Witnesses Should Be Present

It should be addressed that your two witnesses need to be present at the same time. [1] This is so that both of them can confirm that they have watched you sign on a will on a specific day and at a specific location. Both of your witnesses should also be able to describe the general circumstances as they remember them. In addition to witnessing you sign your will, the witnesses should see each other sign as well. When everyone’s stories align, everything will be tied together nicely.

References:

1. “US20020019744A1 - Last Will and Testament Service Method, Last Will and Testament Service System, and Storage Medium Storing Programs to Control Same.” Google Patents, Google, patents.google.com/patent/US20020019744A1/en.

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