Along with our free online wills we provide guidelines for writing a will.
We cover all aspects of legal wills such as the requirements for witnesses, executors and guardians and explain the probate process.
People also increasingly have a presence online with social media accounts which must be addressed when a person passes away. We'll show you how to make work of this easily.
Note: Links to templates for family wills can be found on our main Last Will and Testament page.
They are all in printable form or you can copy and paste it into your word program to edit them to suit your requirements.
Below we address the common mistakes that can make a will invalid and supply answers to a variety of frequently asked questions concerning legal wills.
Although laws may differ in various countries, states or provinces, the following (and the list is not necessarily complete) will generally render a will invalid in most instances:
If a person unlawfully and intentionally caused the death of the deceased or the deceased's parents, spouse or children, then such a person is unworthy of inheriting from the deceased. Justifiable homicide however, does not disqualify a person from inheriting.
The above will be applicable whether the deceased died without a will (intestate) or did have a legal will.
There are also other instances, depending on the jurisdiction, where a person may be disqualified from inheriting e.g.:
Yes. For example, a person may be paralyzed and physically unable to sign or make a mark.
In this event the will can be signed by someone else.
The requirements would be that the testator be present, two (or more) competent witnesses as well as a notary public / commissioner of oaths who will certify the will.
It is of utmost importance to consult with an attorney to ensure the will and attestation clause comply with the legal requirements in your jurisdiction.
In this instance the testator (person making the will) wants to bequeath assets to a particular beneficiary but needs to place (albeit temporary) ownership and/or control in the hands of another person, namely a trustee.
This is typically done in the case of family wills where the beneficiary is a minor who is not equipped to control the inheritance.
Therefore the trustee is not the owner in his/her own interest, but must administer or control the assets on behalf of and in the interests of (to the benefit of) the trust beneficiary.
It must be clear in legal wills that the testator intended to create a trust, must specify the trust assets and must specify the trust beneficiary, such as in the case of minors.
The testator can also specify a future date when the trust beneficiary will be of age and competent to take full possession and control of the assets. At this time the trust can then be terminated.
This is the short answer, but that's not all...
There are distinct advantages for utilizing this structure in family wills that are well worth exploring!
Incidentally, a charitable trust can also be created in this manner.
Note: This is not the same as creating a trust for business purposes!
Can a person suffering from dementia execute a will?
How do I provide for my pet in a will?
How does a blind person make a will?
What is meant by "Power of Assumption"?
What does it mean to furnish security or a bond?
Can I refuse an inheritance?
Can a blind person sign as witness?
Where should I store my will?
Can I have more than one original copy?
How do I finalise my online accounts?
Can I disinherit a child or spouse?
What can make a will invalid?
Can a person be disqualified from inheriting?
Can another person sign on behalf of a testator?
What is a testamentary trust?
Is a holographic will (handwritten will) legal?
Can I have an international will?
How does contesting a will work?