When is a Will not a Will?

What makes a Will a legal document?

How can you turn a few words on a napkin into a Last Will and Testament?

Why can’t I keep my Will on my phone?

These are all intriguing questions that have dogged people throughout the ages. Well perhaps I am exaggerating, most people probably don’t give a flying fart – whatever that is. But if you have stumbled across this blog you probably a Will making on your mind. So maybe it is worth investigation.

Let’s start with looking at what we want from a Last Will and Testament. We want something we can read and understand. Of course some lawyers would prefer you to make a Will that only THEY can read and understand, so they pepper them with legal jargon – and of course if you can afford it there’s no harm in that. You’re providing employment at your expense and the expense of your beneficiaries, but remember Lawyers are people too.

We want to know that these are really your wishes and not something someone else has created to benefit themselves. So you need to sign the document.

We also want to know that this really is your signature – we can’t ask you to verify it after you have died. So we need some independent witnesses to also sign the document to say that they saw you sign it and it really was you.

The exact requirement for witnesses varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but one thing they all have in common is that they cannot benefit from the contents of the Will. This is where your neighbours or work colleagues come in handy.

So in short – you need a document that is readable and credible. You need to sign it in front of people who have no “skin in the game” and they need to sign it too.

If you use any of the online services below they will give you precise instructions on how to make your Last Will and Testament 100% legal.

But the good news is that if you screw up and don’t make a legal Will, you won’t know anything about it – you’ll be dead by the time it comes to light.

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