2022 Georgia Code
Title 53 - Wills, Trusts, and Administration of Estates
Chapter 4 - Wills
Article 3 - Execution and Attestation
§ 53-4-20. Required Writing; Signing; Witnesses; Codicil

Universal Citation: GA Code § 53-4-20 (2022)
  1. A will shall be in writing and shall be signed by the testator or by some other individual in the testator’s presence and at the testator’s express direction. A testator may sign by mark or by any name that is intended to authenticate the instrument as the testator’s will.
  2. A will shall be attested and subscribed in the presence of the testator by two or more competent witnesses. A witness to a will may attest by mark. Another individual may not subscribe the name of a witness, even in that witness’s presence and at that witness’s direction.
  3. A codicil shall be executed by the testator and attested and subscribed by witnesses with the same formality as a will.

History. Code 1981, § 53-4-20 , enacted by Ga. L. 1996, p. 504, § 10.

Cross references.

Execution of writings and contracts, § 1-3-10 .

Editor’s notes.

The general provisions concerning the competency of witnesses, referred to in the Comment, are now found at O.C.G.A. § 24-6-601 .

For application of this statute in 2020, see Executive Order

A listing of Executive Orders issued in 2020 can be found at https://gov.georgia.gov/executive-action/executive-orders/2020-executive-orders.

Law reviews.

For article analyzing execution and attestation requirements in Georgia and advocating certain reforms, see 11 Ga. L. Rev. 297 (1977).

For article advocating abolition of the prohibition against proxy signatures and repeal of this Code section as unnecessary, see 11 Ga. L. Rev. 297 (1977).

For article surveying developments in Georgia wills, trusts, and administration of estates law from mid-1980 through mid-1981, see 33 Mercer L. Rev. 307 (1981).

For annual survey of law of wills, trusts, guardianships, and fiduciary administration, see 56 Mercer L. Rev. 457 (2004).

For annual survey of wills, trusts, guardianships, and fiduciary administration, see 57 Mercer L. Rev. 403 (2005).

For survey article on wills, trusts, guardianships, and fiduciary administration, see 59 Mercer L. Rev. 447 (2007).

For comment on the constitutionality of Ga. L. 1958, p. 657; as amended by Ga. L. 1964, Ex. Sess, p. 16, reducing the number of required witnesses to a will to two, in light of the constitutional provision that no law shall refer to more than one subject matter, see 1 Ga. St. B.J. 126 (1964).

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