Requirements for a Valid Will

Requirements for a Valid WillWhat are the requirements for a valid will? Firstly, any Will you make will not be valid if you are not regarded as being mentally able to make a will.  There are 2 aspects to this, namely age and mental capacity.  They are both linked.

Unless you are in the Armed Forces you are not regarded as having the mental capacity to make a Will before the age of 18.  Where you are 18 or over then as long as you understand the extent of your property, the nature and effect of any Will you enter into and the claims to your assets which you ought to have regard you can enter into a Will.  If there is doubt over any of this (and trust us when we say that unhappy relatives will allege that you were mad at the time) then you should obtain a medical report before the Will is signed.

Requirements for a Valid WillWhere you use a lawyer to prepare your will then they will be able to give evidence about whether you knew what you were doing at the time.  As long as you had the relevant capacity when you gave them their instructions the Will is likely to be upheld.

Secondly, there are the formal requirements of the Will.  The general requirements are that it must be in writing and signed in the presence of 2 witnesses who cannot be beneficiaries under the Will, who then have to sign it also.

Sounds simple, doesn't it.  You would be amazed how many people get it wrong.

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