Attestation is the certification that a particular document is valid and the signatures in it belong to the parties who are bound by the contents of the document. Attestation can take place in any field or industry and does not pertain to legal and government requirements alone. Some of the most commonly attested documents are wills and trusts. 

Attestation involves two processes. The first one is being a witness when a formal document needs signatures. The second part involves signing the document to verify the signatures by the people who are legally under binding by the contents of the document. Let’s look a little more in detail into what attestation is. 

What is attestation? 

Attestation is legally accepting or acknowledging that a document is authentic and verifying that the mandated processes in creating and signing it did occur. Attestation is the official verification that something is authentic. The matter under this clause is usually in writing on a document. The person verifying the document’s authenticity is the attester. 

The person who acts as the witness to the document being signed is usually a third party who is not associated with the signatories in a professional manner nor in a personal manner. This requirement is legally enforcable by law in many states. 

When is it done? 

Attestation is usually in relation to documentation and agreements that are financially or personally highly significant. This includes many legal documents such as a power of attorney, wills, heirship certificates, etc. The process takes place when a witness has to file a police report as well. The person creating the document or report signs it first to state that the contents are true. The attester then signs it to verify that the first signature is authentic. 

Is attestation the same as notarization? 

Attestation and notarization both involve the act of verifying and signing the authenticity of a document. But in notarization, a notary public under the state commission must sign and also stamp their personal seal on the document under authentication. 

History of the process 

The attestation process has been in effect since Biblical times. For example, many miracles of Jesus are under examination by Bible scholars with the help of individual attestations to see which of them are true. When multiple sources and witnesses attest to the same fact, there is more assurance that the fact is true. 

How does attestation work?

An attestation usually takes place when a trust or a will needs signatures and verification. Through an attestation, the following confirmations occur: 

As per the laws of the state in which the attestation occurs, a few clauses may vary from one state to another. But, in general, the main function and the intention behind attesting a document remain the same across states. 

In short, attestation is the process of certifying the validity and authenticity of a document. It involves the executors of the document signing it and the attestator also signing it to validate that the parties therein concerned have signed in his presence. Some of the most commonly attested documents include wills, trusts, heir certificates, etc. Attestations can be in any manner and for any purpose, and not just for legal purposes. 


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