Making/Cancelling Will

What is a Will

A Will is a written document, in a special format, which is designed to carry out your wishes for your assets after your death. It can also provide instructions on other matters, such as selecting guardians for your infant children, and your funeral/burial arrangements.

A Will only takes effect once you as Willmaker die. It has no power while you are still alive. You can change your Will as many times as you like during your lifetime. Only the last Will that you validly make before you die will be used to reflect your final instructions.

How do you make a Will?

Make sure your Will is witnessed by 2 totally independent persons, who have no relationship to the persons mentioned in your Will.

Anyone over 18 years of age who is of sound mind can and should make a Will. A Will must select at least one beneficiary to take the estate, and should also at least select one Executor who is responsible for the financial arrangements. The Executor can be one of the beneficiaries. A Will can also make arrangements for the funeral/burial and select guardians to care for infant children.

To make a Will that is legally valid, it must be in writing and be witnessed in the proper manner. Witnessing the Will is a technical matter, and the following rules should be followed:

*

You need 2 witnesses who are both over 18 years of age and are of sound mind
*

Your witnesses must not be beneficiaries or spouses of beneficiaries that appear in your Will. For instance, if you have left your estate to your daughter Mary, and her husband Bob witnesses your signature on your Will, then your daughter will lose her gift.
*

An Executor, Trustee, or guardian can be a witness. However we recommend that you get completely independent witnesses (eg your neighbours, etc)
*

Both yourself as Willmaker and the 2 witnesses must be present during the time that each of you place your signatures on the Will

You can do your own Will through Legalmart. Click here for more information.

How do you cancel a Will?

A Will is “revoked’ (that means, is made redundant, or no longer applicable) in the following circumstances:

* When a new, later Will is made
* When you marry or re-marry
If your Will is physically destroyed
* If you divorce, then any gift you made to your former spouse in your Will is revoked. That means your Will is still valid, but partially cancelled so far as the gift to your ex spouse is concerned.

In all these cases you should seriously consider arranging for a new Will to be made.

See our Section on Life Events below.

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