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“X” Marks the Spot

Posted by Anthony Serra | May 23, 2022 | 0 Comments

"X" Marks the Spot

How does someone sign a document who is unable to sign? Hey, not a trick question. Seriously, how does someone who is unable to physically move their arms and hands, who is otherwise mentally competent, sign a legal document?

Well, in New Jersey, there are two ways of doing this. One way (assuming the person has minimal hand/arm dexterity) is for the person to simply sign an “X” or make some other mark. Under the law (N.J.S.A. 46:14-4.2), as long as a person intends for an “X” or some other mark to evidence his or her intention to sign, the mark constitutes a valid signature.

If the person is unable to move his or her arms and hands all together (someone for instance who is a quadriplegic), the law allows a third party to sign on behalf of the person, so long as the person has directed the third party to sign for them.

The key to both forms of signature if the signor's competence to sign a legal document AND their intent to be bound by the subject document, whether it be a will, contract, sworn document or any other legal document. INTENT is key!

About the Author

Anthony Serra

Tony Serra is a passionate advocate, especially for the elderly, disabled and those of modest means who need the services of an experienced and caring attorney. For more than 30 years, Tony has been helping common, everyday folks navigate their way through life's turbulent waters. Through innovation and utilizing modern technology, Tony and his law firm are now able to offer quality legal services that at one time were prohibitively expensive, at a fraction of the cost. If you need basic legal services, such as a Will, Power of Attorney, Living Will, Special Needs Trust, real estate transactions, uncontested guardianship pleadings and much more, please visit our website and our SMART LAW legal services platform. You will be pleasantly surprised by what we offer and glad you did! Tony is also an experienced mediator and founder of the Conflict Resolution Center of NJ. Tony has specific training in family matters as well as elder law and contested guardianship and estate cases.  

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