A brief guide to Wills

What is a Will?

A will is a legal document that enables a person (the Testator or Testatrix) to appoint another (the Executor(s)) to distribute their estate in accordance with his/her wishes on death.

If you do not make a Will your estate will be distributed in accordance with the Intestacy Rules.

What should be contained in your Will?

Your Will should state who you want your estate to be distributed to. This may include charitable donations, gifts of land or monetary gifts. It is common for specific gifts to be bequeathed to individuals under a Will e.g. ‘I leave my ruby ring to my niece….’.

What makes a Will valid?

In order for a will to be valid:

  • The testator must be a person aged 18 years old or over;
  • The testator must voluntarily make the Will without pressure from any other person;
  • Be made by a person who has capacity (sound mind);
  • The Will must be in writing; and
  • The Will must be signed by the person making the will in the presence of two witnesses.

Witnesses

A will needs to be signed by two people who are not beneficiaries under the Will or married to a beneficiary under the Will. If a witness is a beneficiary or married to a beneficiary that person (the beneficiary) will not be able to inherit under the Will but the Will shall remain valid.

Where should I keep my Will?

Your Will should be kept in a safe place where it can be easily obtained upon your death. Your executors should also be informed as to the whereabouts of the Will. It is common for people to leave a copy of their Will with their solicitor, in a safe at home or a safety deposit box.

At Josiah Hincks Solicitors we have qualified legal professionals who specialise in writing Wills. For more information about obtaining a Will please contact Liz Woodward (Blaby Office) on 0116 2643430, Sandra Danaher (Leicester Office) on 0116 255 1811 or