Will not signed what happens? DIY will problems
All Wills must correctly executed and comply with the Wills Act 1837.
This means that the will must be signed, dated and witnessed by two independent witnesses.Despite these rules we handle a large number of cases every year that involve issues with the manner in which the will may have been signed for example :-
Did the witnesses sign their names in the presence of the Deceased?
The witnesses together with the Testator ( the person making the will ) must have actually been present at the same time when the will is signed. If only one witness is present the will would not be valid. If this is the case an earlier will may apply, or alternatively the intestacy rules would arise.
The will has been written by the Deceased after the will has been signed
Any amendments to a will (often known as a Codicil) must be executed in exactly the same way as a will otherwise the amendment will have no effect and be invalid. Therefore unless the amendments are witnessed, they will be invalid.
A Beneficiary has acted as a witness
If a beneficiary acts as witness, the will still remains valid BUT the gift to the benficiary fails.Always ensure witnesses are independent.
Common will problems: How we can help
The growth in the number of DIY wills has inevitably seen a common number of problems arising in Wills.
For example, if there are any doubts as to the will being genuine it is always sensible to speak with the witnesses if they are still alive. We regularly see cases where the Will although signed by the Testator was not witnessed by both witnesses at the same time, meaning the will is invalid.Whatever your issue, we can help and frequently assist Executors and Administrators with cases already submitted to the probate registry who may have requested various information ( often statements from witnesses ) as to the validity of a will