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What is a Will?
A will is a document stating your final wishes which is read by a court after your death. The court has a duty to make sure that your final wishes are carried out as you requested in your will. However, for the court to do this, your will must satisfy the requirements found in the Wills Act which you can find by clicking here Wills Act.
What Can I Put in my Will?
Most people think that you are only allowed to allocate your property in a will. However, you may also include
- who the guardians of your children should be
- who the executor of your estate should be ( an executor compiles a list of your assets and all your ,liabilities and decides how the debt must be paid and how the remaining assets Should be divided among the heirs of your estate.)
- who should take care of your pets after your death
How Can I Make my Will Valid?
There are a few simple requirements that you should follow for your will to be considered valid by the courts
- You must be over the age of 16.
- You must sign your will-
This is very important. If you are unable to sign it, perhaps too sick or weak to do so, you may have someone sign it for you. However, this must be done in your presence otherwise the will will not be a valid one.
- You need 2 competent witnesses-
You must sign your will in the presence of 2 competent witnesses. This means that your witnesses must be able to understand what they are witnessing. You need to have these 2 witnesses present even when you ask someone else to sign for you. It is important to remember that your 2 witnesses must sign your will in your presence and in the presence of each other.
Please note that your 2 witnesses and the spouses of those witnesses cannot be heirs in your will. However, this rule can be ignored if the court is satisfied that you were not influenced into your decision by these witnesses.
- You must sign on every page of the will
You may sign anywhere on all the pages, excluding the last page.
- You may sign your will by making a mark that is not the signature you normally use,
However, a commissioner of oaths must certify that the will is indeed yours. This must be done as soon as possible after writing your will. If you happen to pass on before the will has been certified, your will must still be certified by the commissioner as soon as possible after your death for your will to be valid.
You now have a valid will that will be enforced by the court following your death.
If your will does not satisfy these requirements upon your death, it may still be enforced by the court ,if the court is satisfied that you intended for that document to be your last will and testament.
We hope this has been as useful as it is simple.
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