What are the components of a valid will?

Posted on Oct 6, 2018 by Samantha Miller   |   Categories: Wills & Estates

Quite frequently where there is a dispute in relation to a will it is necessary to prove that a will is valid. So what needs to be shown?

1. Capacity
A will maker (known as the testator) must:

i. Be at least 18 years of age unless an exception applies;

ii. Be of sound mind, memory and understanding. The test for capacity in this regard is three fold
a. Does the testator understand the effect of their actions in making the will?
b. Does the testator understand the extent of the property being affected by the disposition?
c. Does the testator appreciate the claims upon his estate? Has the testator properly provided for those people entitled to provision from the estate? If not, has the testator properly explained the reason/s for lack of provision?

2. Intention
The testator must execute the document purported to be a will with the intention that it will act as a will.

3. Knowledge and Approval
In some circumstances it may be necessary to prove that the testator knew and approved of the contents of the will. This might be relevant where one party to a marriage gives instructions and the other simply visits the solicitor to ‘sign here’. It is also relevant where the document is produced in a language other than the testator’s first language.

4. Proper Formalities.
A solicitor will ensure that the will is properly executed in accordance with the legislation.

See a solicitor at Baker Love to ensure that your will is properly drafted and executed so that your estate passes in accordance with your wishes.