About Wills

Should I Make a Will?

The only qualifications necessary are that you are of legal age (18) and of sound mind. If there is a history of mental disorder of if an illness may be affecting your judgement in any way, you should consult a qualified doctor just before preparing your Will. This will help establish your competence and will be useful should your Will be contested later on the grounds of mental incapacity.

If you are married, both you and your spouse should prepare Wills. This is true even if marital assets are primarily in the name of one spouse. Usually you will wish to name your spouse as your main beneficiary and include a substitutional gift to take effect if he or she predeceases you.

If you are not married but are living with someone and you want that person to benefit from your estate, it is particularly important to make a Will. This is so because the rules of intestacy make no provision for unmarried partners. If you were to die intestate, your partner would receive nothing from your estate.

How Long is a Will Vaild?

Once prepared, your Will is valid until revoked, which may occur in one of three ways:

  1. By destruction, combined with the intention to revoke.
  2. By making a new Will that revokes the old Will. The Life-Time Will form contains the phrase, 'I revoke all previous Wills and codicils' in order to do this.
  3. By marriage or re-marriage, unless your Will expressly states that it is made in contemplation of that forthcoming marriage.

Other than in one of these circumstances, your Will remains valid for an unlimited period of time.

Note: A divorce does not revoke a Will.

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