Hello, My name is Adrian Chambers and I’m a solicitor with Law for Life.Â Welcome to our web pages relating to Estate Administration.Â If you have suffered the loss of a loved one and need help in administering their estate and in obtaining Probate then we can help.
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HOW CAN I ENSURE MY WILL IS VALID
By making a Will you can decide what happens to your property and possessions after your death. This page establishes the steps to ensure that you Will is valid. If you need legal help and advice about making your will or related legal matter then
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For a Will to be legally binding, a number of requirements must be met. If they are not met, the Will is likely to be held invalid, which could result in the deceasedâs assets being distributed not in accordance with his or her wishes.
The testator must have been capable of making a valid Will at the time when the Will was made.
To be capable, the testator must ordinarily be aged 18 years or over, but there are some exceptions to this.
The testator must also be of sound mind, memory and understanding. Therefore a person must know and comprehend what they are doing when they make a Will.
If a person lacks the mental capacity to make a Will, they can make an application to the Court of Protection under the Mental Capacity Act 2005. However, this can be used retrospectively.
The testator must have clearly intended to dispose of his or her property, in the way set out in the Will, on his or her death. If the Will has been validly executed and the testator was of sound mind when the Will was made, such intention will be assumed.
UNDUE INFLUENCE, FORCE AND FRAUD
If a testator is pressured or forced into making the Will, the Court may set aside the Will entirely or in part. This also applies if a Will was obtained by fraud or forged after the personâs death.
FORMAT OF THE WILL
In the majority of cases, the Will must be in writing for it to be valid, although there are some exceptions to this rule. It must be signed by or on behalf of the testator, and the signature must be made and acknowledged in the presence of 2 witnesses at the same time.
There is no legal requirement that a Will should be dated, although it is advised that it should be.
The Will must be signed by the testator, or by another person in his or her presence and by his or her direction. Where a Will consists of several pages, the testator does not have to sign them all, providing all the pages are attached at the time the Will is executed.
As mentioned above, when the Will is signed, it must be in the presence of 2 or more witnesses present at the same time.
Once the testator has signed his Will, the witnesses should then either attest and sign the Will or acknowledge his signature, in the presence of the testator. Many solicitors use an attestation clause for this purpose.