There are a number of things that make a Will valid. Please look at this list for further information:
- The testator must be at least 18 years old.
- The Will must be in writing.
- The testator must have made the Will voluntarily without undue pressure.
- The testator must be of sound mind. They must be fully aware of what they are writing and signing.
- The testator must understand what he is disposing of and to whom.
- The Will should be signed by the testator in the presence of two witnesses who should then sign the document to say that they have witnessed the signature being made. The witnesses do not need to know what the Will says or the gifts that are being made. They simply sign to say that they witnessed the testator making his signature.
- A witness or the spouse of a witness cannot benefit from a will. If a witness or their spouse is a beneficiary under the will is still valid but that gift will fail.
The Document itself
- The Will should have a clause revoking all previous Wills and testamentary documents stating that this is ‘my last will and testament’.
- The Will should be bound and is not to be tampered with. Tampering may affect the validity of the Will when it comes to probate.
- You can make changes to the Will (additions or deletions) but we would advise that you seek professional advise before doing so.
- Changes may take the form of a Codicil.
To be valid, a Will has to meet the requirements of S.9 of the Wills Act 1837.