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WA Probate Affidavit for Deceased Estate - Overseas Witness Allowed?

Discussion in 'Wills and Estate Planning Law Forum' started by PeteB, 21 February 2015.

  1. PeteB

    PeteB Member

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    Hi all. My dear old Mum passed away a couple of days before Christmas (aged 93), leaving a legal will naming my brother and i as executors. The will is simple and uncontested.

    I am in the process of completing probate documents and need advice on who can witness my brothers signature as he is in America (his wife is working over there) and he won't be back until the end of the year. We have both downloaded FAQ from the probate website and we have read the Oaths, Affidavits and Statutory Declaration info referred to on the Probate website. Everything refers to witnesses in Australia.

    Does anybody know if it is legal to have someone in America witness his signature?

    Thanks for your time.

    Cheers.
     
  2. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    Hi PeteB,

    It depends on what document your brother is signing.

    For statutory declarations, the Attorney-General's website has a "list of authorised witnesses". The witness can be residing or located overseas for the witnessing as long as they are a professional on the witness list and has a connection to Australia (e.g. a lawyer with an Australian practising certificate working in America). If your brother is unsure how to contact such a person, he should call his nearest Australian embassy, high commission or consulate. He can also get someone from the consulate to witness the documents, but this may attract a higher fee.
     
  3. PeteB

    PeteB Member

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  4. PeteB

    PeteB Member

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    Goodmorning Sarah J. Thanks for the info. He needs to sign the affidavit and the will, as required by the probate application. I will get him to contact the Australian embassy there. Thanks heaps, very much appreciated. Cheers, Pete B.
     

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