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Court’s Ruling The Civil Code, specifically in Article 973, outlines the requirements for a valid will. According to this article, a will must be signed by the testator in the presence of witnesses and a notary. In cases where the testator is unable to sign due to lack of knowledge or physical inability, the declaration of the testator must be explicitly mentioned in the will, along with the reason preventing them from signing. The specific nature of the illness causing the inability to sign is not necessary to be indicated.

The Requirement of Signatures in Wills:-

A recent case addressed by the Court of Cassation shed light on the interpretation of this provision. The case involved a young woman who tragically passed away due to multiple sclerosis. She had executed an authentic will, leaving all her belongings to her partner. However, due to her illness, she was physically unable to sign the will. The notary who drafted the will made a clear mention of the testator’s incapacity to sign it, citing her illness as the cause. In response, the testator’s mother and sister sought to invalidate the will, arguing that the specific nature of the illness should have been specified.

The Court of Cassation, however, held that the statement made by the notary, stating that an illness prevented the testator from signing, was sufficient to validate the will. The court affirmed that the requirement of specifying the nature of the illness causing the inability to sign was not mandatory.

Court of Cassation Ruling: Validity of a Will in the Absence of Testator’s Signature Due to Illness:-

It is important to note that an authentic will is typically prepared in the presence of two notaries or a notary assisted by two witnesses, with the testator dictating its contents. The executed will is then retained in the notary’s office. Furthermore, the Civil Code allows for the preparation of a will by an individual who lacks the ability to write or does not possess writing skills.

By clarifying the legal interpretation of Article 973, the Court of Cassation affirmed that as long as the notary explicitly mentions the testator’s incapacity to sign and cites the illness as the cause, the will remains valid. This ruling provides assurance to individuals who may face physical limitations or other constraints that prevent them from signing their wills in the traditional manner, ensuring their testamentary intentions are upheld and legally recognized.