Requirements for a valid Will
Requirements for a valid Will

The following Wills & Probate guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Requirements for a valid Will
  • Validity
  • Formalities
  • Establishing the date of the Will
  • Condition of the Will
  • Incorporation of other documents in a Will
  • Formalities for codicils
  • Confirmation of Will by codicil
  • Revocation of a Will
  • Rectification
  • more


Once the Will has been obtained, check both it and any codicil comply with the legal requirements for a valid Will.

Check the Will:

  1. has been executed and in accordance with the appropriate formalities

  2. has not been revoked by operation of law on marriage/civil partnership divorce, dissolution or nullity

  3. has not been revoked by deliberate act of the testator by later Will or codicil or destruction

  4. has not been altered

  5. was made when the testator or testatrix was over 18 or if they were a minor, that they were a soldier on actual military service or a mariner or seaman at sea

  6. is clear of staple marks

  7. does not have any pages missing

Establish you have the latest Will.

A valid Will

The testator must:

  1. have the capacity to make a Will

  2. have the intention to make a Will and

  3. comply with the prescribed formalities


To establish a Will is valid the Will must:

  1. be in writing

  2. be signed by the testator or by some other person in their presence and by their direction

  3. give the appearance that the testator intended by their signature to give effect to the Will

  4. have a signature made or acknowledged by the testator in the presence of two or more witnesses present at the same time

  5. be witnessed and each witness must attest