For a Will to be valid in Maryland, it must be signed by the testator and then by two witnesses. This process is known as attestation. It begins with the testator asking a witness, either by words or by deeds, to sign the Will. The witness then attests by observing that the Will is in writing and signed by the testator. Witnesses do not need to know that the document they are signing is a Will. Nor must they observe the testator sign the instrument. However, where the Will is signed out of the witness’s presence, the testator must acknowledge in some way that the instrument belongs to him or her. The two witnesses must attest and sign the Will in front of the testator, but they need not sign in front of each other.
Practice pointer: Most attorneys simply the attestation process by having the testator sign the Will before two witnesses, who then sign the Will.