Wills – Execution – Attestation

Prospective witnesses to a will saw the testatrix standing in an adjoining room engaged in writing. Soon thereafter, the testatrix asked them to come in and sign a paper. Her name had already been written on the document, and she neither signed it in the witnesses’ presence nor in any manner indicated the writing to be her will. The witnesses read enough of the document, however, to know it was a will, before subscribing it in the presence of the testatrix and one another. Three of the testatrix’ sons objected to the probate of the will on the ground that it was not duly executed. The lower court denied probate on the ground asserted by the contestants. On appeal, held, reversed. The signature of the testatrix on the will was exhibited to the witnesses, and they were requested to sign. Since the requirements of attestation and subscription are synonymous in Wisconsin, all the statutory requirements were met upon the witnesses subscribing the instrument. In Re Estate of White, 273 Wis. 212, 77 N.W. (2d) 404 (1956).