Before you begin the process of constructing a will, it is important to step through some of the key points of the will composition. You can always reach out to your lawyer or the team at What Do I Do? to clarify any additional questions that you might have.
Who can make a Will?
The law allows you to compose a Will if you are over the age of eighteen and are of sound mind. You must be able to demonstrate that you understand the primary purpose of a Will, and outline how you want your assets to be distributed upon your death. If you are under the age of eighteen, you can petition the Supreme Court to allow you to create a will.
Requirements for Making a Will
There are a number of key components that must be present in order for a Will to be considered lawful:
- The will must be in writing, either handwritten or typed;
- The will must be signed by the testator (the individual composing the Will)
- The testator’s signature must be witnessed by two witnesses, neither of whom can be beneficiaries or the spouse of the testator
- The witnesses
In order to ensure that these requirements are adhered to, it is recommended that you have your Will composed by a professional. This will mitigate the possibility of any errors in execution….and save you a lot of family disputes in the long run.
What should be contained in a Will?
The Will must specify that it is your last Will and the the current will effectively revokes any previous Wills.
The Will should appoint at least one or two people to be your executors, who you will entrust with the responsibility of ensuring that your wishes are followed.
Wills may include additional information, such as desires for funeral proceedings, preferences for body disposal or assignment of guardianship.
It is important to note that Wills are only binding with regard to property distribution, and as such the executor is not bound by law to carry out additional directives outside of asset distribution.
The Will should provide provisions for outstanding debts and funeral payments, and should then articulate clearly and explicitly how you would like your property to be distributed. Items can be assigned individually or you can allocate a percentage of the total value of your estate to an individual or groups of individuals.