1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Attestation

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ATTESTATION (Lat. adtestare, attestare, to bear witness, testis, a witness), the verification of a deed, will or other instrument by the signature to it of a witness or witnesses, who endorse or subscribe their names under a memorandum, to the effect that it was signed or executed in their presence. The essence of attestation is to show that at the execution of the document there was present some disinterested person capable of giving evidence as to what took place. The clause at the end of the instrument, immediately preceding the signatures of the witnesses to the execution, and stating that they have witnessed it, is known as the attestation clause. In Scots law, the corresponding clause is called the testing-clause (see Deed; Will or Testament; Witness).