Anyone over 18 years of age who is of sound mind can and should make a Will. A Will must select at least one beneficiary to take the estate, and should also at least select one Executor who is responsible for the financial arrangements. The Executor can be one of the beneficiaries. A Will can also make arrangements for the funeral/burial and select guardians to care for infant children.
To make a Will that is legally valid, it must be in writing and be witnessed in the proper manner. Witnessing the Will is a technical matter, and the following rules should be followed:
- You need 2 witnesses who are both over 18 years of age and are of sound mind
- Your witnesses must not be beneficiaries or spouses of beneficiaries that appear in your Will. For instance, if you have left your estate to your daughter Mary, and her husband Bob witnesses your signature on your Will, then your daughter will lose her gift.
- An Executor, Trustee, or guardian can be a witness. However we recommend that you get completely independent witnesses (eg your neighbours, etc)
- Both yourself as Willmaker and the 2 witnesses must be present during the time that each of you place your signatures on the Will