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

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Answer
Michael Wakshull
Temecula, California
Handwriting
951-252-4929

About
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.

04/16/2011

Answer
Theodore Robinson
Hempstead, New York
Criminal Law
516-248-6600

About
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.

03/18/2011