- Video report by News at Ten Presenter Tom Bradby
For three and a half centuries signing on the dotted line has been a person's legal bond, on any document.
But now, so called e-signatures, where all you need to do is click a button, are becoming more and more common.
The Government's independent legal adviser has issued guidance stating that e-signatures can now be treated as equivalent to written ones.
Signatures can be a simple stroke of a pen that changes many lives—and the course of history.
According to graphologist Adam Brand signatures say a lot about your personality too.
Here are some of the world's most famous signatures:
What's the impact of signature legal change?
The decision could have implications for documents including Lasting Powers of Attorney, which must currently be signed manually, as well as credit agreements and land sales.
Law Commissioner Stephen Lewis said: “Contract law in the UK is flexible, but some businesses are still unsure if electronic signatures would satisfy legal requirements.
“We can confirm that they do, potentially paving the way for much quicker transactions for businesses and consumers.
“And not only that, there’s scope, with our proposals for webcam witnesses, to do even more to make signing formal documents more convenient, speed up transactions and get business booming.”