Requirements of a Valid Will
Oct 14, 2013
It is possible to prepare your will yourself! However it is advisable that you get a solicitor to do for you as it is an important document and should be drafted correctly.
You decide what you wish to do with your property and your solicitor can advise you on how to achieve your objective.
Your solicitor will also advice you on about your rights of spouses, children or other family members and how this impacts on your decisions.
It is always possible for you to revoke your will. This can only be challenged if your mental capacity when revoked your will is called into question.
For a will to be legally valid the following rules apply:
- The will must be in writing.
- You must be over 18 or married or have been married.
- You must be of sound mind.
- You must sign or mark the will, or acknowledge the signature or mark in the presence of two witnesses.
- Your two witnesses must sign the will in your presence.
- Your two witnesses cannot be people who will gain from your will and they must be present with you at the same time for their attestation to be valid. the witnesses spouses also cannot gain from your will.
- Your witnesses must see you sign the will but they do not have to see what is written in it.
- The signature ( or your mark if unable to sign) must be at the end of the will.
If you want to change your will after you make it, you can add a codicil ( amendment or change) to your will; this codicil must meet the same requirements set out above, though it is advisable that if you have wholesale changes to make to the will that you revoke the current will and set out a brand new one, fulfilling the requirements above.
Your will can be revoked automatically in certain situations:
- If you remarry your will shall be revoked, unless your will was made in contemplation of that marriage.
- If you make another will, the first will you made shall be revoked.
- If you draw up a written document that is executed in accordance with the requirements for a will, your first will shall be revoked.
- If you burn, tear or destroy your will, it will no longer be considered valid. Or if someone else destroy it, your will shall be revoked, provided this is done in your presence, with your consent, and with the intention of revoking your will.