Legal Blog

The Weekly Scenario: Signatures on a Will

Question: My father’s Will is six pages in length. He signed on page 5, but the witnesses signed on page 6. Does the fact that there is a page separating my father’s signature with the signatures of the witnesses invalidate the Will?

Answer: No, an otherwise valid Will is not invalid merely because the witnesses sign it on a different page than the person making the Will and the pages were not physically connected at the time of signing. Moreover, a particular form of attestation clause is not required to allow a presumption of proper execution of the Will.

In Maryland, the statutory requirements of a valid, executed Will are: The Will shall be (1) in writing, (2) signed by the testator, or by some other person for him, in his presence and by his express direction, and (3) attested and signed by two or more credible witnesses in the presence of the testator.

There is no particular requirement stating where a Will has to be attested and subscribed by the witnesses (for example forbidding separate pages or directing the manner in which the pages were to be connected).

Comment: In a recent Maryland case on the issue, the court was unwilling to impose formalities ‘beyond those specifically required by statute.’



As always, if you have any questions or would like to learn more, please contact Steve Shane at or 301.575.0313.


Steve Shane Casual Small | 301.575.0313

Steve Shane provides strategic counseling to clients in need of estate administration, charitable giving and business continuity planning while minimizing estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax exposure. He offers legal guidance to clients on asset protection and the proper disposition of assets in accordance with the client’s objectives, while employing tax planning techniques such as the use of irrevocable trusts, life insurance planning, lifetime gifts and charitable trust. He is also experienced with drafting documents for business planning, the incorporation and application for exemption for Private Foundations and the administration of decedents’ estates.



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