Intestate Succession and Wills

ORS 112.235
Execution of a will


Except as provided in ORS 112.238 (Exception to will execution formalities), a will shall be in writing and shall be executed in accordance with the following formalities:


The testator, in the presence of each of the witnesses, shall:


Sign the will;


Direct one of the witnesses or some other person to sign the name of the testator and the signer’s own name on the will; or


Acknowledge the signature previously made on the will by the testator or at the testator’s direction.


At least two witnesses shall each:
(A)(i) See the testator sign the will;


Hear the testator acknowledge the signature on the will; or


Hear or observe the testator direct some other person to sign the name of the testator; and


Attest the will by signing the witness’ name to the will within a reasonable time before the testator’s death.


The signature by a witness on an affidavit executed contemporaneously with execution of a will is considered a signature by the witness on the will in compliance with subsection (1)(b)(A)(iii) of this section if necessary to prove the will was duly executed in compliance with this section.


A will executed in compliance with the Uniform International Wills Act shall be deemed to have complied with the formalities of this section.


As used in this section, “writing” does not include an electronic record, document or image. [1969 c.591 §37; 1973 c.506 §7; 1981 c.481 §4; 2015 c.387 §11]

Notes of Decisions

To fulfill formal will requirements both witnesses must sign will before death of testator. Rogers v. Rogers, 71 Or App 133, 691 P2d 114 (1984), Sup Ct review denied

Will is not executed when testator signs will unless that act is done in presence of witnesses and witnesses then attest will. Perry v. Adams, 112 Or App 77, 827 P2d 930 (1992)

Testator’s statement in will that signing was at testator’s direction, followed by signature indicating representational capacity of signer, fulfilled requirement that signer write on will that signer acted at direction of testator. Walker v. Walker, 145 Or App 144, 929 P2d 316 (1996), Sup Ct review denied

Requirement that will be acknowledged in presence of witnesses requires that document be before witnesses at time of testator’s acknowledgement. Kirkeby v. Covenant House, 157 Or App 309, 970 P2d 241 (1998), Sup Ct review denied

Law Review Citations

95 OLR 337 (2017)


Last accessed
Mar. 11, 2023