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Signing and witnessing a will

 

Who can witness me signing my will?

When making your will, you must sign it in the actual presence of at least two witnesses. Each witness must sign and add their complete name and address. Adding occupation may also make it easier to find the witnesses if necessary in the future.

The will must be made by you of your own free will, without pressure from anyone else.

Creditors, beneficiaries and spouses or de facto partners of beneficiaries can witness a will. However, Legal Aid WA strongly recommends that beneficiaries and the spouse or de facto partner of a beneficiary NOT witness a will. This may avoid some disputes about the validity of a will.

Blind people are not able to witness the signature on a will.

What if I can't sign a will?

The law makes special provision for persons who are unable to sign a will. If you are such a person, you should see a lawyer before making a will.

The law allows for a will to be signed for that person in their name by some other person in their presence and by their direction. The same requirements for witnesses to the signing apply.


Do the witnesses and will maker have to stay together during the signing?

Yes. The maker of the will and the witnesses must all remain together during the signing of the will. You must sign the will in front of all the witnesses and they must sign the will in front of you and in front of each other. Witnesses must not sign unless they have actually seen you sign the will.

Does the will need to state who witnessed the signing?

It is important for the will to include a statement saying that the testator (the person making the will) signed in the presence of two or more witnesses and that they signed in the presence of the testator. Without this special attestation statement the will is still valid, but it will make the task of the executor difficult and time consuming.

Where does the will have to be signed?

Wills should be signed at the end. It is best to sign immediately at the end of the wording, leaving no room for additions.

Where there is more than one page, you and each of the witnesses should sign at the bottom of each page. Unless this is done, there may be problems in proving the will. Alterations can be made any time after the will is written and before it is signed. You and your witnesses should sign each change.

Where can I get more information?

  • For more information on wills go to Wills 

Last reviewed: 02/02/2012

Last Modified: 09/02/2012

Disclaimer

The material displayed on this page is intended for information only. If you have a legal problem, you should see a lawyer. Legal Aid Western Australia believes that the information provided is accurate, however does not accept responsibility for any errors or omissions.