The following Wills & Probate guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
Usually the statement of truth (formerly oath) is the only evidence the court will require. There may be circumstances where further evidence is needed.
The inclusion in a Will of an attestation clause prima facie showing compliance with the requirements of section 9 of the Wills Act 1837 raises a presumption of due execution. Decide whether any testamentary document satisfies the requirements of that section.
If in doubt because, for example:
the signature of the testator or of either of the witnesses is in an unusual position
the signature of the testator or of either of the witnesses is imperfect
no attestation clause is included
the attestation clause is insufficient, then
refer the matter by ex parte application to the district judge/registrar. Write to the registry enclosing a copy of the Will and seeking guidance as to the further evidence required.
The district judge/registrar will call for an affidavit of due execution from one or more of the attesting witnesses.
The district judge/registrar may:
accept evidence from any other person present when the Will was executed
accept evidence from any person they think fit to show that the signature on the Will is in the deceased's handwriting or to establish any other fact that might raise a presumption of due execution, and
require that notice of the application
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