Do witnesses need to be present when the Will is signed?

Last modified: September 1, 2023
Estimated reading time: 1 min

Yes, witnesses need to be present when the Will is signed by the testator (the person making the Will) for the Will to be considered legally valid. The presence of witnesses is a fundamental requirement in the execution of a Will, and it serves to ensure the authenticity and legitimacy of the document.

Here are some key points to consider:

1. Physical Presence

    Witnesses should be physically present in the same room or location where the testator is signing the Will. They should witness the act of signing.

    2. Observation

    Witnesses are expected to observe the entire process of the testator signing the Will to confirm that it is indeed the testator who is signing and that they are doing so willingly.

    3. Immediate Signatures

    After the testator signs the Will, witnesses should immediately sign the document as well. They should not leave it to be signed later or in a different location.

    4. Date of Signing

    Witnesses should also include the date when they signed the Will to establish the timeline of the document’s execution.

    5. No Beneficiary Status

    In Malaysia, it is advisable to select witnesses who are not beneficiaries, or the spouses of beneficiaries named in the Will to avoid potential conflicts of interest that could affect their rights in the Will.

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