Most people are aware that they need to have a Will, if they haven’t already got one it’s usually on their “to do” list but the problem I find with many people I talk to is that it rarely gets to the top of that list. It usually takes a trigger of some sort, like a new baby arriving, a dangerous trip coming up or a recent death in the family. That’s when people start calling me to get their wills written.
Standard British Wills only become valid when they are signed and dated in front of two independent witnesses who then also sign and complete their own details under the signature of the person who’s will it is. This is called the Attestation and needs to be done correctly, together with a claim of incapacity (not being of sound mind) these two are the main challenges against wills in the courts.
There are cases of wills being held up by the court that have not been written and signed correctly, the shortest will in history comes to mind where a farmer, Karl Tausch of Hesse, Germany, working on his tractor died underneath the tractor when it rolled over, he had enough life left in him to scrawl “all to wife” in his own blood on the farm machinery which was then, after his death, produced in court and deemed to be a valid will by the judge. He wrote the words in Czech which, in that language, was just 2 words.
Once a will has been signed correctly then it becomes a legal document until it is revoked or used by the family to obtain Probate. A will is usually revoked by writing a new will or the act of marriage, hence the importance a writing a new will immediately after the act of marriage or just before “in anticipation of marriage” which enables the will to remain valid.
On this site there are several different ways to get your will written, all of which are described on the main Will prices page along with links to the relevant pages or will forms that you will need.