What are the Requirements for Making a Will?

Author:
Paisley Laws
Trainee Solicitor, Family Law
Date:
04/01/2019

Making a Will gives you control over what happens to your money and your property after you die.

But when making a Will in England or Wales, there are a few criteria it must meet for it to be valid. These are:

  • The person making the Will must be over 18

  • They must be able to fully understand that they’re signing a Will and the purpose and implications of its contents

  • There must be no evidence that the person making the Will was pressured into doing so, or that they were influenced by others

  • The Will must be in writing

  • It must be signed by the person making the Will in the presence of two witnesses. The witnesses must sign in the presence of the person making the Will, after that person has signed it

  • A witness or the married partner of a witness cannot benefit from a Will. This means that no Beneficiary of the Will or their spouse or Civil Partner should act as a witness

  • An undated Will would remain valid. However, it’s advisable to ensure that a Will is dated once it’s been signed and witnessed.

How Many Executors Should I Choose?

A valid Will should also specify who is appointed as the Executor/s and who is to inherit under the Will. Executors are the people who’ll be responsible for carrying out your wishes as per the terms of your Will, which means it’s their job to take care of your Estate.

It’s a good idea to appoint more than one Executor, as there’s always a chance they might die before you or not be in a position to act.

You should think carefully about who you wish to appoint as Executors. Family members are a common option, along with friends or Solicitors.

Who Should I Leave My Assets To?

This is a huge consideration, so think carefully about who it is you want to inherit under your Will and what it is you wish to leave to them.

For instance, you could bequeath a share of your remaining Estate once any debts have been paid off. Alternatively, you may choose to leave a cash gift or perhaps your share of a property you own.

If you’re thinking of making or updating a Will or would like advice as to if a Will is valid, get in touch and we’ll be happy to help you.

For free legal advice call our Wills & Trusts Solicitors

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