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Legal Documents (Signature)

Volume 640: debated on Tuesday 16 May 1961

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asked the Lord Advocate which classes of legal documents issued in Scotland have to be signed in the presence of two witnesses; and why one witness will not suffice for receipts.

As a general rule formal documents, particularly those which deal with the sale of heritable property or which are of a testamentary character, require to be attested by two witnesses. There is a relaxation in favour of holograph documents (i.e., those in the handwriting of and signed by the grantor) which are normally effective without the signature of any witness. Mercantile documents (including receipts) which are granted in the course of an ordinary commercial transaction and which do not relate to the sale of heritable property are also normally effective without being witnessed.