Will drafting—completing and executing the Will
Will drafting—completing and executing the Will

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

  • Will drafting—completing and executing the Will
  • Executing the Will
  • Date
  • Alterations and additions
  • Will retention

Will drafting—completing and executing the Will

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19): The formal requirement for a valid Will to be witnessed in the presence of two witnesses is to be relaxed (with retrospective effect) to include both physical and virtual presence, to allow Wills to be validly witnessed by way of video conference. For the latest guidance on this temporary change, see Practice Note: Coronavirus (COVID-19)—Wills.

Having completed the Will, the practitioner must make arrangements to have it signed and witnessed.

Executing the Will

There are basically two ways for the Will to be signed: either in front of the solicitor in their office or by the testator at home. The latter is not to be preferred unless there is absolutely no other way. If the testator is so ill or incapacitated that they cannot venture from their home, the solicitor should be present at their home and ensure that the formalities are observed.

If it is necessary for the Will to be executed outside of the solicitor's supervision, it is essential that they provide the testator with full detailed instructions. This is generally dealt with by a standard form that accompanies the Will. This can be in any format the solicitor chooses, as long as it sets out a number of salient points:

  1. that the execution is by the testator and two witnesses

  2. that all three must be present together when

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