Is a rubber stamp signature by testator valid on a formal will in California?

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Michael Wakshull
Temecula, California

Court-qualified document examiner. Helps clients dissect evidence in written and computer-generated questioned documents. Skilled creating and explaining exhibits in easy-to-understand language.

As a forensic document examiner I can't answer the legal question. From the perspective of a document examiner, rubber stamps can be difficult to authenticate since anyone can have a stamp made. The document examiner must look for details of the stamp under a microscope in order to determine whether the questioned and known stamps are identical. A problem with rubber stamps is that they wear over time. A result may be that the legitimate stamp may exhibit different features when compared with prior uses. Analysis of rubber stamps is a specialty area for document examiners. Perhaps the best authority on this subject is Gary Herbertson, formerly with the FBI.


Theodore Robinson
Hempstead, New York
Criminal Law

When you call Ted Robinson, you get him. Our firm deals with Criminal Defense law and Wills, Estates and Trusts. . Ted`s been President of two Bar Assocs and is a trial attorney.

While I don't practice in CA, my opinion would be "No" a rubber stamp would not suffice to act as a signature unless there were extenuating circumstances and even then, I would do my best to get the Testator of the Will to sign it in person. 

Speak to a local CA lawyer to verify this analysis.