The signing of a legal Will can often be completed incorrectly, rendering the Will void. This post will cover the main points to note when completing your Will. Before signing the document make sure all the pages are in order and bound together before signing.
If you suffer from any condition which may lead to the Will being questioned then check with your doctor first before signing. This is the golden rule as set out in Banks v Goodfellow. The case deals with testamentary capacity.
If the golden rule has been satisfactorily applied the next step is to decide on your two witnesses. It is important that you tell them that you have read and understood the Will.
Your witnesses must not be beneficiaries or executors under your Will or the spouse of a beneficiary or executor (if a witness is a beneficiary your Will is valid but the beneficiary loses their entitlement), or a member of your family. They must be adults of sound mind; with the necessary mental capacity, not blind and easily contactable should a question arise concerning the signing of the Will. Because of this it is not a good idea for a witness to be significantly older than you.
It is always best to adopt a very stringent approach to Will signing. Your two witnesses should meet with you at the same time in the same room. You should sign and date your portion first in the presence of your two witnesses who in turn must then sign and date their section. It is customary for your witnesses to sign using their usual signature, print their name, address and occupation. The same pen should be used for all of the signing.
The witnesses do not need to know the content of the document, they are merely there to observe the testator signing their Will. Once all the formalities are complete, the Will is then legally binding. It is very important that this is completed properly; a Will is not legally valid until the procedure above has been carried out.
Finally once the Will has been completed it is important not to attach, pin, paperclip, fasten etc any other documents to it. Similarly it is vital that no amendments.are made to the Will after it has been signed.