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This article was published on December 7th, 2022
Your Will is one of the most important documents you can have. It contains your final wishes, instructions on how to deal with your estate, and who you want to inherit your assets in the event of your death. However, it is not enough to simply create a Will, you must ensure that it is valid. This blog will detail what could invalidate your Will and why it matters.
It is important to have a valid Will because it is the only way for you to have control over your estate and who benefits from it after you die. If you were to die without creating a Will (intestate), your estate may not be shared out how you wished and it can cause issues for your family. This is also the case if you die and your Will is found to be invalid.
Several things can make a Will invalid, including:
In the UK, your Will must be signed by two witnesses who are there to acknowledge that the person that has written the Will, is the same person signing it. If the Will is not witnessed correctly, it may be deemed to be invalid. The witnesses must be present while you are signing the Will and they must also sign at the same time as you do. They must be people who are over the age of 18 and are not beneficiaries, heirs, or anyone who stands to inherit under your Will.
A Will made under duress is one where a person is forced to change or create their Will in a certain way. Making a Will under duress is a serious matter and can lead to the Will being deemed invalid. If you feel that you are being pressured into changing your Will, you should speak with a solicitor immediately.
If you get married, you must update your Will to reflect your new status. If you do not, your spouse will not automatically inherit your assets and this may cause issues after your death.
This is a very common mistake to make. Many people have many copies of their Wills lying around the house. However, If you have not destroyed a previous Will, it could invalidate your latest Will.
When creating your Will, you need to be careful to avoid the pitfalls that could deem it invalid. The best way to do this is to use an experienced solicitor to help you draft it.
If you are worried that your Will is not valid, or you would just like some help creating one, you’re in the right place. Our team of specialists Wills, Trust and Probate Solicitors can provide you with expert advice and assistance. Get in touch today by calling 0800 1979345 or filling out our simple enquiry form. Or, if you would like any more information about Wills and when you should update them, you can read our previous blogs.