Deceased estate and probate law

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Western Australian Law as at date of publication


Is it necessary for a will to be signed to be valid?


It is possible to prove an unsigned will and obtain a grant of probate with respect to it from the Supreme Court of WA in limited circumstances.

Although clearly the requirements of section 8 of the Wills Act (WA) will not have been met, section 32 of that Act enables the court in part to prove an unsigned will (as an informal will) if it is satisfied that there is a document, that the document expresses or records testamentary intentions, and that the person for whom the document is made intended that document to be their will.

Sometimes the last requirement has been expresssed in the authorities to mean that there must be a document that was intended by the deceased “without more” to operate as their will. On occassion the court has found the necessary intention where it has been proven on the balance of probabilities that the person making the will intended to execute it but failed to do so before death  (see e.g. Mitchell v Mitchell [2010] WASC 174 and Deeks v Greenwood [2011] WASC 359).

Valid 17/10/13





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