How can you tell if a will is Valid?
A valid Will is a legal document expressing your wishes in regards to the distribution of your estate including property and other assets. It also sets out your wishes regarding the care of children who are still minors. If a will is found to be invalid the estate will be distributed according to the Rules of Intestacy.
For a will to be considered valid there are certain requirements that need to be met, according to the government website you must be,
- be 18 or over
- make it voluntarily
- be of sound mind
- make it in writing
- sign it in the presence of 2 witnesses who are both over 18
- have it signed by your 2 witnesses, in your presence
If a will has not met these requirements it can be challenged but it the court who will decide its validity. Even if a will has met these requirements it’s validity can still be challenged if the claimant believes,
- There is a more recently made will that exists and it includes a revocation clause, this clause revokes any previously made wills.
- If the deceased married after the will was made it automatically makes it that will void.
- The will is a forgery.
- The will was made when the writer was not of sound mind.
If you believe a will to be invalid you have strict time limits in which to challenge it. You should seek professional legal advice as soon as possible. If you are the executor of an Estate and are unsure of the validity of a will it can be beneficial to use a solicitor to review the will and to mediate if the situation is causing tension between beneficiaries.