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  6. My client is unable to sign their will. What should I do?

My client is unable to sign their will. What should I do?

I have drafted a will for my client who is illiterate and therefore incapable of signing it. How do I deal with this?

Although s9 of the Wills Act 1837 requires that the will be 'signed by the testator or by some other person in his presence and by his direction', 'signature' is given a wide meaning; a mark, an initial, and even a thumb print have all been acceptable.

An attestation clause confirming the will was read over to the testator, who understood and approved it, is not required by s9, but the inclusion of such a clause will normally avoid the necessity of providing the registrar with an affidavit of due execution.

Please see The Law Society’s Probate Practitioner's Handbook (7th edition), which can be purchased from the Law Society’s online bookshop.

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Disclaimer: 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.

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