How should I certify a copy of an original document?

A residuary beneficiary requested a certified copy will. The original was electronically scanned, then submitted to the probate registry. Can I print the scanned will and certify it as a true copy of the original?

There are no specific rules that apply to the certification of documents in the same way as there are for the swearing of oaths, affirmations and declarations.

It’s entirely up to you how you certify. So long as the printed copy is ‘true’ to the original – that is, an exact reproduction of the original – you can certify it as a true copy.

In this instance, you may wish to say, for example, “I certify that this is a true copy of the scanned original,” so that it's clear what it is a true copy of.

To be able to say this, you will also need to know that the scan is a true copy of the original will.

For further information, see the GOV.UK guidance on certifying a document.


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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