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Execution of a Valid Will: Prescribed Formalities

Wills’ are regulated by the Wills Act. In order for a Will to be valid, there are formalities prescribed by law that must be met for the Will to be validly executed and have legal standing. It is essential that every person drafting or executing a Will ensure that the Will is validly executed during their life time in order to avoid unnecessary delays in winding up.

 In addition to a Will being in writing, the following formalities must also be adhered to:

  • A Will must be signed at the end by the testator or by another person in the presence or direction of the testator;
  • The Will must be signed in the presence of two witnesses, who must sign and attest in the presence of the testator and of each other;
  • It is our practice at KP Fiduciary Services that each page of the Will must be signed where the Will is made up of more than one page;
  • Where the Will is signed by way of a mark or by another person on behalf of the testator, the Will must be commissioned by a Commissioner of oaths who must sign every page of the Will excluding the page on which the Commissioners certificate appears.

Key Takeaway: In order for a Will to be valid and have legal standing, the prescribed legal formalities must all be adhered to otherwise such Will has no legal standing and may be declared invalid.