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In the United States, attestation clauses were introduced into probate law with the promulgation of the first version of the Model Probate Code in the 1940s. Statutes that authorize self-proved wills typically provide that a will that contains this language will be admitted to probate without affidavits from the attesting witnesses.
An attestation clause modeled on the Model Probate Code's language might provide:
- We, the undersigned testator and the undersigned witnesses, respectively, whose names are signed to the attached or foregoing instrument declare:
- (1) that the testator executed the instrument as the testator's will;
- (2) that, in the presence of both witnesses, the testator signed or acknowledged the signature already made or directed another to sign for the testator in the testator's presence;
- (3) that the testator executed the will as a free and voluntary act for the purposes expressed in it;
- (4) that each of the witnesses, in the presence of the testator and of each other, signed the will as a witness;
- (5) that the testator was of sound mind when the will was executed; and
- (6) that to the best knowledge of each of the witnesses the testator was, at the time the will was executed, at least eighteen (18) years of age or was a member of the armed forces or of the merchant marine of the United States or its allies.
The validity and form of an attestation clause is usually a matter of U.S. state law, and will vary from state to state. Many states allow attestation clauses to be added as codicils to wills that were originally drafted without them.
- Mann, Bruce H. (1993). "Formalities and Formalism in the Uniform Probate Code". University of Pennsylvania Law Review. 142 (3): 1033. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
- "Estate of Dellinger v. 1st Source Bank, 771 N.E.2d 1271 (Ind.Ct.App.2002)". Google Scholar. Google. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
- "Self-Proving Affidavits for Wills". Expert Law. ExpertLaw.com.
- Spencer, Patti S. (2015). Your Estate Matters. Bloomington, Indiana: AuthorHouse. ISBN 978-1-4969-3529-8.
- Burns' Annotated Indiana Statutes, ss. 29-1-5-3.1