Lady Writing a will with good witnesses

5. The Will Wasn’t Correctly Witnessed

When thinking of a witness for a will, you may think your partner or your child are good enough. This assumption couldn’t be more wrong. A valid will requires two external witnesses to be physically present and they must meet specific criteria.

The criteria of the two witnesses signing a will in England and Wales are:

  • Both must be UK citizens, aged 18 and over
  • Neither can be named as beneficiaries in the will or married to a beneficiary

Asking a beneficiary to be a witness will result in them potentially being excluded from the will. This exclusion is due to the chance that the recipient has manipulated the person writing the will. So, if you are writing a will, make sure you select witnesses who have nothing to gain from the will to protect them.

Calendar showing an out of date will

4. Your Will is Out of Date

Did you know that a significant life event can alter or void your will?

Many people don’t realise this, and their loved ones end up paying the price. Examples of events that impact your will are:

  • The birth of a child or grandchild
  • A marriage or divorce
  • The passing away of a loved one
  • Buying a new house

Our solicitors advise you update your will at least every 5 years so it remains valid and includes everyone.

Somebody holding out a credit card with unpaid debt
somedy making correct changes to a will
Gentleman writing a will himself
One of our Wills solicitors helping a client write a will