How to witness and sign your will properly

 An excerpt from Lawpack's Last Will & Testament Kit.

Witnesses to Your Will

To make sure that your will is legally valid, it's important to ensure that your will is properly witnessed.

When you're making a will you need two witnesses who must be over 18 and preferably neither very old nor hard to trace, in case a question should arise later concerning the validity of your will. A blind person cannot witness a will.

Making a Will Warning:

If a person is inheriting something in your will (called a 'beneficiary'), it's vital that they are not a witness to the same will. Also, you shouldn't use someone as a witness to your will if they are married to a beneficiary of your will. If either of these people do witness your will, they will lose the benefit of their gift, but the will itself will remain legally valid.

An 'executor' (someone you have named in the will to manage your estate) or their spouse can safely act as a witness to your will - unless they are also a beneficiary, in which case another witness must be found.

Signing Your Will

You must sign your Will in the presence of two witnesses and they must then both sign in your presence and in the presence of each other as witnesses to your signature. Neither you nor any witness to your will should leave the room until your will is both signed and witnessed, and you should all see each other sign the will.

When signing your will, use your usual signature, write in ink and date your will. Be sure that the witnesses complete their names, addresses and occupations on the will.

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Published on: October 25, 2010

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