020 7387 2032

In England and Wales, the requirements for a valid Will are set out in the Wills Act 1837. Failure to adhere to these criteria can result in the whole estate falling into intestacy.

Criteria for a valid Will

In order for a will to be valid and withstand challenge, there are a range of criteria to be adhered to:

  • The Will must have been entered into by someone over the age of 18.
  • The Will must have been entered into a person who is (1) of sound mind (2) drafts the Will voluntarily and without duress. Sound mind points to the mental capacity of the testator or testatrix, which questions whether the drafter of the Will fully understands the implications of making it, the overall value of their estate and to whom their assets are going to be distributed. If mental capacity is in contention, it is advisable to seek medical opinion.
  • The Will must be in writing.
  • The Will must be signed in the presence of two witnesses. If the witness is a beneficiary of the Will, or married to a beneficiary of the Will, that witness cannot subsequently inherit.

Destroying or revoking a Will

A Will can be altered after signing through (1) adding a codicil or (2) drafting a replacement Will. A codicil is a written document containing amendments to the original Will, which must be signed and witnessed as per the original Will in order to be valid. If a person wishes to cancel their Will entirely and start over, the new Will must state it is revoking the previous Will, which will have to be destroyed.

A Will is destroyed where it is torn, burned or otherwise disposed of in the presence of the drafter with the intention that it is to be destroyed. Diligence must be carried out to check other copies have not been made.

It is important to note that getting married after making a Will may have the legal effect of revoking it, unless contingency for getting married is made.

Contact our Wills and Probate Solicitors

Our solicitors have extensive experience in handling matters relating to the drafting of Wills. Our client base is not only domestic, but international, meaning we are well placed to advise on situations where a deceased either had assets overseas or their primary domicile was not in the UK.

We offer a tailored approach that explores and addresses the personal circumstances of our clients. Contact our Wills and Probate Lawyers today on 020 7387 2032 or complete our online enquiry form.

Please let us know your name.
Please let us know your email address.
Please enter a valid phone number
Invalid Input
Please let us know your message.
GDPR Agreement - I consent to the information supplied above to be stored on this website so that Lewis Nedas Law can respond to my enquiry.
Invalid Input

Top Ranked Lawyers: Legal 500 

Celebrating 40 years of practice in 2022, we are leaders in criminal defence, serious fraud, serious crime and many other areas of legal practice. We have been involved in many leading cases over the last 40+ years and are well known for our genuinely high acquittal rate and overall success rate. Please click the Legal 500 logo below for more information about our rankings.

We are happy to help

Get 24/7 Legal Advice, call

020 7387 2032

“I was put in touch with Lewis Nedas Law through a mutual friend and I was not disappointed. The team were nothing but straight forward, honest and realistic about the nature of my case and the expected outcome from the minute I got in contact and were willing to take over from the previous company at very short notice. With their unrivalled experience and expertise in their profession the outcome was even better than expected and I couldn’t recommend them enough.”

Accreditations and Awards

  • Legal 500 uk leading firm 2024
  • The Times Best Law Firms 2024
  • Legal 500 uk leading firm 2022 50x73
  • The Times Best Law Firms 2022
  • Google 5 stars