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What Is a Attestation Clause? Definition, Uses and Importance.

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An attestation clause is a legal term that describes the most important aspect of any will; A lot of people are yet to know this. However, they seem to have a better understanding when you explain the term. 

Aside from a testator’s signature, the attestation clause is often the last thing to be included in every will. It serves as proof that the testator’s will is accurate, genuine, or rightly written before the testator’s death.

For a will to be labeled as “satisfactory”, it must have the attestation clause written on it, where the users of the will have to agree that the terms are correct and acceptable.

What is the Importance of the Attestation Clause?

the attestation clause is important to probate because it shows that:

  • That a will wasn’t written under coercion
  • That the testator was mentally stable at the time he or she wrote the will
  • That there are people who were present as witnesses at the time the will was signed
  • That the signature on the will is that of the testator

Overall, the attestation clause is a way of proving the genuineness of a testator’s will.

How is Attestation structured? 

The structure of an attestation clause varies from state to state. In several states, codicils can be used as a replacement in a will that has no attestation clause. 

A codicil is a document used as a supplement of a will. A testator can use it to make adjustments or amends in a will without necessarily rewriting the entire document. It’s important because it saves one the time that could have been spent on changing everything in a will by hand. 

Lifespan of an attestation clause

The validity period of an attestation clause usually depends on the state in which it will be signed. 

How is the Attestation Clause Used?

The attestation clause is mainly used to authorize a document. Documents can come in different forms but here, we’re referring to a will that needs to be proven correct.

With the attestation clause, you can be sure that all the requirements regarding a will have been met.

History of attestation clause

The use of attestation clauses in wills began in the 1940s. Since then, they’ve been considered a must when it comes to signing on wills.

A will may be considered invalid and incorrect if there’s no attestation clause on it. 

Synonyms for attestation 

The following are other ways to say “attestation”

  • Declaration
  • Evidence
  • Testament
  • Proof
  • Corroboration
  • Authentication

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Attestation Clause

Q: How many witnesses are required in the attestation of a will?

A: Two witnesses must be present at the time of signing the attestation clause. 

The witnesses do not exactly need to know that the document they are meant to witness its signing is a will. They only need to see that the testator is writing their signature even though they may not know the content of the document.

Q: What does it mean for a will to be attested?

A: a will being attested means that it’s confirmed to be true, authentic, or genuine. Usually, attestation comes in a written form m 

 Testimony or confirmation that something is true, genuine, or authentic. An attestation is frequently in writing. For example, a witness attests a will by signing it; his or her signature may confirm, inter alia, that he or she witnessed the testator sign the will.

Q: Where can you find the attestation clause in a will?

A: You will often find the attestation clause beneath the testator’s signature. 

Q: What happens to a will with no attestation clause?

A: In the absence of the attestation clause, the testator’s survivors will be asked by the probate court to produce an affidavit. The affidavit will be seen as evidence that a will was appropriately signed. 

Nonetheless, it’s important to have the attestation clause appended as it is stronger than any other evidence provided. 

Q: Who can act as a witness in an attestation?

A: people who can witness an attestation are already listed beneficiaries of the will, the surviving spouse, friends, or relatives. 

In practice, however, the beneficiaries are advised not to witness a will as they may end up losing their benefits. 

Q: Who cannot act as a witness in the attestation?

A: There are certain people who are restricted from being part of attestation witnesses. For example, mentally unfit and blind people may be stopped from witnessing a will.

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