What might make a will invalid?
From simple errors, to serious issues arising where an individual does not have sound mental capacity when papers were signed, there are multiple reasons why a will may be deemed invalid. In the following sections, we’ll explore some of the important areas to consider when making a will.
If a person is discovered to not possess testamentary capacity when a will was made, it may be judged invalid.
The term ‘testamentary capacity’ refers to the person’s state of mind when a will is made. To have testamentary capacity, they must be capable of understanding three key points:
• that their assets will be received by their beneficiaries
• that the term “Estate” refers to all that they own
• the implications of excluding or including any potential beneficiaries
Without undue influence
Wills must be made by a person of their own choice, so they can be challenged or found to be invalid if it is believed the person was unduly influenced by another. It is sometimes argued when a person dies of old age or suffers from dementia that they were coerced. To avoid such challenges, using a medical practitioner as a witness can be a wise decision.
Wills must be witnessed by two separate signatories. These must be independent, being neither related to the person making the will nor its beneficiaries by marriage or blood.
Obtaining the assistance of a professional solicitor can reduce the chance of errors occurring, and make certain your will is valid so that your wishes are carried out correctly.