Are you going to be signing (attesting) your own Will?

General, Wills

Are you going to be signing (attesting) your own Will?

If the correct ‘attestation procedure’ isn’t followed the Probate Court could reject your Will and that would mean it is invalid or worthless., i.e. you would be taking a step backwards to the point where you would be considered as not having a Will and you would pass away intestate.

If you are going to sign and execute your own Will(s), it is vital that you acknowledge its content (so do tell your witnesses that you have read and understood it and agree with how it will work).  You will then need to sign it in the presence of two independent witnesses who must be adults with capacity, but are neither beneficiaries nor related to you in any way.

Use a black pen for this. You should call us before putting ‘pen to paper’ if you have any doubts or wish to clarify a point first.

To recap, you and your two independent witnesses must all be present at the same time when the Will is signed.

You should all sign every page under the last line of text (apart from the last page which has the official ‘attestation clause’) to prevent anything else being added to your Will in the future.

On the last page you will need to write in the date and then sign after where your name is printed; e.g.

SIGNED by the said John Smith in our presence and by us in his:    (you then sign just here)

Your witnesses must also sign the last page under where the word “witness” is printed, they must also print their names, addresses and occupations as indicated. The Witnesses do not need to read or know the contents of your Will(s).

It is essential that you do not staple or affix anything to the Will document(s). It is vital that nothing is ever attached to the Will and that no amendments are made to it after you have attested it. If you become unhappy with your Will or any provision of it and wish to change it please contact us or another suitable organisation or person to execute a formal codicil or a new Will.

As you know, a Will is not a once and for all document. Changing circumstances may make your new Will inappropriate or even invalid. For this reason, we advise you consider making a new Will after important life events such as births, deaths, adoptions, marriages, civil partnerships, divorces, buying of houses and moving countries.

We also recommend regularly reviewing your Will (it is your responsibility by the way) in any event to ensure it remains suitable despite any changes in the law or in your personal circumstances.

Need some help, please call us on 0800 083 1374 or click here

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