Wills Legal Guide - Part 3

By Lenore Rice

In the second part of our Wills Legal Guide, we looked at the initial steps involved in writing a Will, such as listing your beneficiaries and estimating the value of your estate.

In this section of our Guide, we shall explore the more nuanced aspects of a Will, including getting advice on difficult questions and ensuring that your Will is legally valid.

Getting Advice

While the process of writing a Will is relatively straightforward, it can also run into difficulty quite easily.

  • Who would you like to look after to your children?
  • What happens if the people you want to benefit die before you?
  • Who will execute your Will?
  • How can you be sure your Will is legally valid?
  • How do you keep your Will safe?

This is where good, professional advice really comes into its own, and the expert team of solicitors at Wilson Nesbitt is more than willing to guide you through the nuances of the Will writing process.

Making sure your will is legally valid

For your Will to be legally valid you must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Make it voluntarily
  • Be of sound mind
  • Make it in writing
  • Sign it with the presence of 2 witnesses who are both over the age of 18
  • Have it signed by your 2 witnesses, in your presence.

How you write and sign your Will can have ramifications on how benefits can be shared, for instance you cannot leave your witnesses (or their married partners) anything in your Will.

It can be beneficial to seek the advice of a solicitor in order to navigate any potential pitfalls in the Will writing process, as their expertise will be incredibly helpful in ensuring that all of your wishes are laid out clearly and concisely.

Updating your Will

It is advised that you review your Will every 5 years, as well as after any major change in your life.

Many people aren’t aware that getting married or re-married cancels any Will that you made before the marriage, and will require the creation of a new and valid Will.

If you are unsure as to whether you Will requires an update, it would be helpful to contact a solicitor for expert advice.

Making changes to you Will

It should be noted that you cannot make amendments to your Will after it has been signed and witnessed.

After this happens the only way in which you can change a Will is by making an official action called a codicil.

There is no limit to the amount of amendments or codicils you can add to a Will, and you must sign a codicil and get it witnessed in the same way as witnessing a Will.

 

 

In the final part of our Wills Legal Guide, we shall explore the various ways that Wilson Nesbitt can assist you in creating a Will that you are happy with, as well  as introducing the members of our dedicated Wills team.