The Law Society Library gives details of sources of precedents for attestation clauses for wills.
The Law Society Library maintains a database of enquiries called Common Queries. These include results from research to find forms, precedents, rules, regulations and guidance. These records can be freely accessed via the library catalogue, Library Search.
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 (rule 13 of the NCPR 1987).
A similar situation may arise where the testator has an imperfect knowledge of English and needs an interpreter. In such circumstances, knowledge of the will contents may be established through inclusion of a special attestation clause.
Precedents for attestation clauses to help with drafting in such circumstances may be found in:
Butterworths Wills, Probate and Administration service (looseleaf)
- Section A Forms and Precedents, Section 1A.31 – Testimonium and attestation clauses
- 1A.31.3 - Attestation clause for use when the testator can neither read the will nor sign it
- 1A.31.4 - Attestation clause for use when the testator can read the will but cannot sign it
- 1A.31.5 - Attestation clause for use when the testator cannot read the will but can sign it
- 1A.31.6 - Attestation clause for use when the testator signs with a mark (with variation for cases where he cannot read the will)
- 1A.31.7 - Attestation clause for use when the testator can neither see the will in order to read it nor hear it read to him
- 1A.31.8 - Attestation clause for use when the testator cannot hear nor speak and is incapable of reading
Encyclopaedia of Forms and Precedents, volume 42(1) (2016)
- Forms 100 -106 contain attestation clauses covering a wide variety of situations.
- 100 - Clause in will—attestation clause—testator unable to read
- 102 - Clause in will—attestation clause—will signed at direction of illiterate testator
- 103 - Clause in will—attestation clause—blind testator
- 104 - Clause in will—attestation clause—deaf, dumb and blind testator
- 105 - Clause in will—attestation clause—testator who has imperfect understanding of English
- 106.1 - Clause in will—attestation clause—virtual witnessing—both witnesses witnessing remotely
- 106.2 - Clause in will—attestation clause—virtual witnessing—one witness witnessing remotely
Williams on Wills Precedents, volume 2 Precedents
- B22 Testimonium and attestation clauses
- Form B22.13 - Attestation clause where the testator has an imperfect knowledge of English
Last updated 3 March 2021
Copies of all documents listed here can be supplied by email via Lawdocs, our document delivery service.
For help and enquiries please contact the Law Society Library on 020 7320 5946 or email us.
This FAQ is compiled by the Law Society Library. Comments relating to the questions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.