The Law Society Library on the topic of attestation clauses in wills.

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Attestation clauses for wills

The absence of an attestation clause in a will may mean that there is a lack of evidence of the will being executed in accordance with section 9 of the Wills Act 1837. In particular, where a will has been signed by a testator who is blind or illiterate, or signed by another person at the direction of the testator, there is no automatic presumption that the testator had knowledge of the contents of the will (NCPR 1987, r 13). A similar situation may arise where the testator has an imperfect knowledge of English and an interpreter is used. In such circumstances, knowledge of the will contents may be established through inclusion of a special attestation clause.

The Library has various precedents for attestation clauses to help with drafting in such circumstances.

Illiterate/unable to read or write

Practical Will Precedents, (looseleaf, 1987 - )

Illiterate testator (precedent H4)

Dew, Parkers Will Precedents. 8th ed. (2014)

Where the testator is unable to read or write (precedent 21.3)

Where the testator is able to sign but not read (precedent 21.4)

Testator is able to read but unable to sign his name - signed with mark (precedent 21.5)

Endicott, Brighthouse’s Precedents of Wills. 14th ed. (2007)

Attestation (by mark) for illiterate testator (precedent 41, para 2-078)

Encyclopaedia of Forms and Precedents, vol. 42(1), 2011 reissue, Wills and Administration

Attestation clause: testator unable to read (signed by mark) (form 84)

Attestation clause: will signed at direction of illiterate testator (form 86)

Blind/deaf/dumb

Practical Will Precedents, (looseleaf, 1987 - )

Blind testator (precedent H6)

Endicott, Brighthouse’s Precedents of Wills. 14th ed. (2007)

Attestation by blind testator (precedent 40, para 2-077)

Encyclopaedia of Forms and Precedents, vol. 42(1),2011 reissue, Wills and Administration

Attestation clause: blind testator (form 87)

Attestation clause: deaf, dumb and blind testator (form 88)

Physically incapable of signing (but able to read)

Practical Will Precedents, (looseleaf, 1987 - )

Where another signs on behalf of the testator (precedent H5)

Dew, Parkers Will Precedents. 8th ed. (2014)

Testator is able to read but unable to sign his name - signed at his direction (precedent 21.5)

Imperfect knowledge of English

Practical Will Precedents, (looseleaf, 1987 - )

Where testator has imperfect knowledge of English (precedent H7)

Encyclopaedia of Forms and Precedents, vol. 42(1),2011 reissue, Wills and Administration

Attestation clause: testator who has imperfect understanding of English (form 89)

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Disclaimer

This FAQ is compiled by the Law Society Library. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this article, it does not constitute legal advice and cannot be relied upon as such. The Law Society does not accept any responsibility for liabilities arising as a result of reliance upon the information given.