When do I need a Witness

Do you need a signature from a witness in order for a contract to be valid.

Most documents and contracts do not require a witness for them to be valid.  But wills and documents that need to be registered with NSWLRS (Land Registry Office) have legal requirements in relation to witnessing.

Who can be a witness to a document?

The person you choose to witness a document should have no financial or other interest in the document that is being signed. An independent adult (over 18 years old) witness who does not benefit from the document is the best solution.

Ideally a witness will observe the relevant party or parties signing the document and then the witness will sign the document as proof that they witnessed the parties signing. The witness is generally not required to know or understand the contents of the document.

It is also important that documents such as wills have clearly regulated requirements regarding the number of witnesses and the nature of the relationship between the parties and the witness. Most States in Australia will not allow witnesses that are mentioned in your will, either as beneficiary or executors. The witnesses must be of legal age (18) and they must be mentally capable of managing their property and making their own decisions.

Contact our office to get a clarification on witness protocol.