Requirements for a valid Will

By 18 March, 2014 January 21st, 2019 No Comments

Wills remove the doubts and difficulties that can arise when there is no evidence of a deceased person’s wishes.

The requirements for the validity of a Will fall into the following categories:

1. Capacity (the testator must have reached the age of 18 years, be of sound mind, memory and understanding);

2 . Intention to make a Will;

3. Knowledge and approval of the contents of the Will; and

4. Proper formalities (the Will needs to be properly executed and witnessed).

The importance of having a properly drafted Will was recently highlighted in a decision of the Supreme Court of Western Australia where the Court opened its judgment with the following statement:

“Home made wills are a curse… [in this instance] the estate of the deceased is substantial, the will is opaque and there is no agreement among the beneficiaries, the inevitable result is an expensive legal battle which is unlikely to satisfy everyone. All of this could have been avoided if the testator had consulted a lawyer and signed off on a will which reflected his wishes. There is no question but that engaging the services of a properly qualified and experienced lawyer to draft a will is money well spent.”

Pragma Legal arranges for its clients to complete a prepared form and then meet to take further instructions in relation to the Will before preparing it.