Requirements for a Valid Will

There are vital requirements for a Will that must be adhered to in order to make it valid. These are factors everybody should familiarise themselves with before considering making one.

Firstly you must be 18 years of age or older. The Will must be made of your own free will and you must have the capacity to do so. Therefore you must be fully aware of the nature of the document you are writing and be aware of exactly what you are passing down and to whom. It must also be in writing and in the presence of two witnesses (the witnesses must also be over 18, not blind and of sound mind). These witnesses must sign the will after you in your presence. These witnesses cannot benefit from the will (nor can their partners), but if the witnesses and their married partners are down as beneficiaries the Will is still valid but they will not be able to inherit under it. Another important factor is that if you get married your current Will will become void, so it is important to change it after a marriage. It is also advisable that you change your will after a new birth and divorce. New children will not be included in the will unless you make a new one or update it.

The Will does not have to be dated although it is advisable that you do add the date when it is signed. As soon as the processes of signing and witnessing are complete the Will is legally valid.

If a Will is made and any of these requirements are not met it will not be legally valid and upon your death your estate will be shared according to intestacy rules and not with the intentions of your will.

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