Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Wikipedia.


The act of attending the execution of a document and bearing witness to its authenticity, by signing one's name to it to affirm that it is genuine. The certification by a custodian of records that a copy of an original document is a true copy that is demonstrated by his or her signature on a certificate.

An attestation is a declaration by a witness that an instrument has been executed in his or her presence according to the formalities required by law. It is not the same as an Acknowledgment, a statement by the maker of a document that verifies its authenticity.

An attestation clause is frequently found in legal documents that must be witnessed if they are to be valid, for example, a will or a deed. It states that the instrument has been completed in the manner required by law in the presence of the witness who places his or her signature in the designated space.


n. the act of witnessing a signature for the purpose of declaring that a document (like a will) was properly signed and declared by the signer to be his or her signature. (See: attest)


noun act of bearing witness, adjuration, affirmation, allegation, assertion, asseveration, attest, attesting declaration, authentication, averment, avouchment, avowal, certification, declaration, endorsement, oath, solemn averment, solemn avowal, solemn declaration, statement, substantiation, swearing, sworn evidence, testification, testimonium, testimony, validification, verification, witnessing
Associated concepts: acknowledgment, attestation clause, attestation of chattel mortgage, attestation of deed, attestation of note, attestation of will, attesting witnesses
See also: adjuration, admission, affirmation, assertion, asseveration, assurance, averment, avouchment, avowal, certificate, certification, certitude, confirmation, corroboration, declaration, disclosure, jurat, oath, pledge, profession, proof, recommendation, record, reference, stamp, support, testimony


the signature of witnesses to the making of a will or execution of a deed. In English law, it is now a requirement that wills and deeds be attested by two witnesses. Such a witness is called an attesting witness. Where a deed, will or other instrument is executed in the presence of another and that other records the fact by signing his name on it, he is said to be an attesting witness. It should be emphasized that what is being witnessed is the signature rather than the document itself For Scotland, see REQUIREMENTS OF WRITING.

ATTESTATION, contracts and evidence. The act of witnessing an instrument of writing, at the request of the party making the same, and subscribing it as a witness. 3 P. Wms. 254 2 Ves. 454 1 Ves. & B. 362; 3 Marsh. 146; 3 Bibb. 494; 17 Pick. 373.
     2. It will be proper to consider, 1. how it is to be made 2. bow it is proved; 3. its effects upon the witness; 4. its effect upon the parties.
     3.- 1. The attestation should be made in the case of wills, agreeably to the direction of the statute; Com. Dig. Estates, E 1 and in the case of deeds or other writings, at the request of the party executing the same. A person who sees an instrument executed, but is not desired by the parties to attest it, is not therefore an attesting witness, although he afterwards subscribes it as such. 3 Camp. 232. See, as to the form of attestation, 2 South. R. 449.
     4.-2. The general rule is, that an attested instrument must be proved by the attesting witness. But to this rule there are various exceptions, namely: 1. If he reside out of the jurisdiction of the court; 22 Pick. R. 85; 2. or is dead; 3. or becomes insane; 3 Camp. 283; 4. or has an interest; 5 T. R. 371; 5. or has married the party who offers the instrument; 2 Esp. C. 698 6. or refuses to testify 4 M. & S. 353; 7. or where the witness swears he did not see the writing executed; 8. or becomes infamous; Str. 833; 9. or blind; 1 Ld. Raym. 734. From these numerous cases, and those to be found in the books, it would seem that, whenever from any cause the attesting witness cannot be had secondary evidence may be given. But the inability to procure the witness must be absolute, and, therefore, when be is unable to attend from sickness only, his evidence cannot be dispensed with. 4 Taunt. 46. See 4 Halst. R. 322; Andr. 236 2 Str. 1096; 10 Ves. 174; 4 M. & S. 353 7 Taunt. 251; 6 Serg. & Rawle, 310; 1 Rep. Const.; Co. So. Ca. 310; 5 Cranch, 13; Com. Dig. tit. Testmoigne, Evidence, Addenda; 5 Com. Dig. 441; 4 Yeates, 79.
     5.-3. When the witness attests an instrument which conveys away, or disposes of his property or rights, he is estopped from denying the effects of such instrument; but in such case he must have been aware of its contents, and this must be proved. 1 Esp. C. 58.
     6.-4. Proof of the attestation is evidence of the sealing and delivery. 6 Serg. & Rawle, 311; 2 East, R. 250; 1 Bos. & Pull. 360; 7 T. R. 266. See, in general, Starkie's Ev. part 2, 332; 1 Phil. Ev. 419 to 421; 12 Wheat. 91; 2 Dall. 96; 3 Rawle's Rep. 312 1 Ves. Jr. 12; 2 Eccl. Rep. 60, 214, 289, 367 1 Bro. Civ, Law, 279, 286; Gresl. Eq. Ev. 119 Bouv. Inst. n. 3126.

References in periodicals archive ?
The document is aimed at developing mutually beneficial cooperation between two neighboring countries in preparation and certification of scientific and pedagogical personnel, the Higher Attestation Commission noted.
Rizwana Kouser Arain vide original attestation ticket No.
A scholar from University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, whose attestation is pending before the HEC, said that obtaining a PhD degree was easier than getting it attested from the HEC.
HEC will verify the record for subsequent attestation.
As reported by Khaleej Times on Sunday, the attestation centres had increased the number of service counters from 45 to 95 to meet the rush.
The time constraints imposed on doctors and hospitals are inflexible and simply unmanageable--and this is evident by the dreadful Stage 2 meaningful use attestation numbers released by CMS," Rep.
In previous years and under Stage 1, the attestation period was 90 days.
MAAPC and NPAM have teamed up again, partnered with the Maryland Nurses Association and will be introducing legislation during the 2015 Maryland General Assembly to repeal the attestation requirement.
If that estimate holds true, together with current attestation volume more than 95 percent of EHs would have demonstrated MU in a year when it appeared near impossible to do so.
The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board said Wednesday that its first five inspections of broker-dealer audit and new attestation engagements subject to PCAOB standards show deficiencies in the auditors' application of these standards.
The three centers will be well equipped to deal with all kinds of passport, visa and consular attestation services.
In the Dodd-Frank Act, companies with public floats (a measure of outstanding stock) of less than $75 million were exempted from the auditor attestation requirement in SOX Section 404.