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January 2, 2013
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How can we tell that a WILL is valid?

A will is described as a document made in writing in contemplation of death. This document has to be in a prescribed form and is used to distribute property after one dies. A will must take a certain form for it to be deemed as a valid will. The following are requirements that must be met for a will to be admitted to probate:

It must be made by a person who has attained the age of majority therefore, any will made by a person under the age of 18 will not be deemed as valid.

It must be in writing.

It must be signed by the maker of the will.

NB. It is of the utmost importance that the testator/maker of the will signs the will with the intent to give effect to it by his signature.

It must have at least two witnesses who signs the will.

According to Section 6 of the Wills Act, a will must be executed in the following manner: "It shall be signed at the foot or end thereof by the testator (the maker of the will), or by some other person, in his presence and by his direction, and such signature shall be made or acknowledged by the testator in the presence of two or more witnesses present at the same time".

The maker of the will must have 'Testamentary Capacity' and 'Animus Testandi'. This means that the maker of the will must have been of sound mind and memory, and must have had the intention of making the will at the time he/she did. The following then becomes important and must be established:

(a) The maker of the will must have been proved to have had the mental capacity to make the will.

(b) He must have known and approved of the contents of the will.

(c) The will must not have been made as a result of the undue influence or fraud of another person. Fraud involves misleading the maker of the will while undue influence involves, coercing him, both of which if proved may invalidate a will.

Matters of Justice, Where Justice Matters.

nmanleystar@gmail.com

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