What Makes a Will Invalid?

makes a will invalid

In the past, it was common for people to instruct their solicitors to draft their Will. In recent years, however, do-it-yourself Wills have become common. While it may seem simple enough to fill in the blanks on a template, by not hiring a solicitor to draft your Will, you are leaving your Will open to the risk of being contested and possibly even being deemed invalid by the courts.

The requirements for a valid Will are set by law. When a Will doesn’t meet the requirements, it can be considered invalid. If that happens, the distribution of the estate is done according to the rules of intestacy.   An intestate person is one who dies without a Will.  If intestacy rules come into play, the people who inherit your estate are set by law.

To avoid causing undue stress and heartache to your family when you pass away, you need to make sure that you have a Will.

Below, we list some of the most common reasons why a Will can be found invalid after one’s death.

The Will Was Executed Improperly

A Will must be in writing, signed by the owner, in front of two witnesses.  This means that the person writing the Will (the testator) must sign their Will, or they need to acknowledge their signature in front of two witnesses who will then sign the Will.

The Witnesses must be over the age of 18 years old. If they or their spouse are beneficiaries of the Will, anything gifted to them in the Will fails. 

The Testator Was Under ‘Undue Influence’

For a Will to be valid, the testator must make it voluntarily. It must reflect their own wishes. A testator cannot make their Will while under duress. If someone claims that the testator made the Will under undue influence, the claimant must provide proof.

The Testator Didn’t Have the Mental Capacity to Make the Will

If the testator didn’t have the required mental capacity when signing the Will, it can be challenged.  If the challenge is successful, the estate will be divided according to the intestacy rules. 

you know the extent of the property that you own.

Marriage Revokes a Will

Many people are unaware of this rule, but it’s important to remember that marriage will revoke a your Will. Therefore, please contact us so that we can draft a new Will for you after your marriage..

If can have a Will made in contemplation of marriage.  That will make sure that your Will remains valid even if you get married.

Let the Experts at Elizabeth Middleton Solicitors Draft Your Will

An invalid Will can cause significant problems when it comes to applying for the Grant of probate.  It can also cause rifts in the family and lead to litigation. That is why it is essential to take all steps possible to ensure there is nothing in your Will causes it to be deemed invalid after your death.

To ensure your estate is taken care of promptly, having a Will is the best course of action because it enables your Executors to either apply for the Grant of Probate themselves or instruct a solicitor.  

Elizabeth Middleton Solicitors are an experienced and considerate team.  We will assist you with all your estate planning needs. Contact us for more information about writing your Will, as well as your other legal needs for Probate, Lasting powers of attorney and equity release.