Basic requirements for making a Will

To write a Will there are 5 basic requirements that must be met when writing a legally binding Will.

Must be aged 18 or Over

You must be by law be considered an adult (18) to write a will in the UK. This can be seen to be questionable in modern society as there are many things you can do from aged 16 including serving in the forces, having sexual relations and also buying a lottery ticket to name a few. Despite all the things you can do under the age of 18, writing a will is not one of them.

Have Sufficient Mental Capacity

You need to be able to demonstrate having mental capacity when making a Will. The correct test for capacity is the common law test established in Banks v Goodfellow [1870]. Although the test is about 150 years old it is still citied as the most appropriate test for mental capacity. The testator will need to know what they are doing and the consequences of the actions, know what they own and also know any moral claims they should consider.

Have the Necessary intention to create a will

The Testator must have the necessary intention to make the will, approve and know all the contents and approve of all the instructions given for the preparation of the Will.

Be Free from undue influence or duress

The Testator must not be under pressure from someone else to make a will. It is advisable to have time alone with the testator to ensure that they are not under any pressure from other people to make the will

The proper legal formalities must be met

In accordance to the Wills Act 1837 Section 9 the legal requirements are; In Writing, including brail, word processing etc. It must be signed by the Testator with intention to do so, a rubber stamp or inked thumb print are acceptable as a signature. Two Witnesses must be present as the Testator signs and then each witness must sign the document.

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