There are a number of reasons to write a will. The legally binding document will help you to determine what happens to your estate should you pass away, so you can effectively pass on your property, money, and personal possessions to your loved ones or a charity.
What’s more, it will ensure you do not pay for more inheritance tax than necessary.
However, to legally execute a will, you must adhere to a number of strict rules stated in Section 9 of the Wills Act 1837. Read the below advice on how to ensure your will is valid.
How to Write a Valid Will
A failure to write a valid document could potentially provide people with grounds for challenging a will.
To avoid inheritance disputes and ensure a will is legally valid, the testator must:
- Be 18 years of age or over
- Be of sound mind
- Have voluntarily written the will
- Have signed a will in the presence of two witnesses over 18 years old
- Have a will signed by two witnesses in their presence
A Will Must be in Writing
For a will to be deemed legally valid, it must be handwritten in either pencil or ink. Yet, it can be typed into electronic format, but the above rules must be adhered to.
If you are choosing to handwrite a will, it is beneficial to write it with ink to ensure it cannot be amended or argued. If you don’t, it is possible for someone to state a testator was undecided about a section of a will, so wrote it in pencil.
To ensure your loved ones don’t struggle with inheritance disputes following your death, write the document in ink to ensure your wishes cannot be challenged.
The Signing of a Will
It is imperative that two witnesses watch a testator sign a will. If one or both witnesses do not watch the signing, the will isn’t legally valid, and it could provide others with grounds for challenging a will. For this reason, the witnesses must be aware that their role is to watch you sign the document to ensure its validity.
Also, while they do not need to know your wishes within the document, they must be aware that they are watching the signing of your will. What’s more, they will need to declare their presence by both signing their signature, which must be witnessed by the testator.
Who Can Be a Witness?
There are currently no rules regarding who can be a witness for the signing of a will. However, the person you choose must be aged 18 or over and cannot be blind. They also do not need to be a professional or possess any qualifications. However, to prevent inheritance disputes from arising, avoid choosing a beneficiary, executor or blood relation to be a witness. Good examples of independent witnesses include a neighbour, colleague, or GP.
If, however, you believe you have grounds for challenging a will, contact The Inheritance Experts today.