What Makes a Will Valid?March 28, 2023
Your will is an important document that outlines how you wish your estate to be distributed once you have passed away. To ensure that your specific instructions are followed and carried out, your will must first be declared valid. If your will is declared invalid, it can be completely disregarded, creating potential conflict and stress for your loved ones. As experts in estates and personal planning, the team at Sidhu & Associates understands the importance of a valid will. That is why we have compiled some information to help you understand what makes a will valid and ensure that your wishes are properly carried out after your passing.
How to Ensure That Your Will is Valid
To ensure that your will is valid, it must meet the following requirements:
It Must be in Writing (Physically or Electronically)
Every will must be either written by hand or typed on a computer. In other words, your will cannot be a verbal agreement with other parties. Prior to December 1, 2021, a will was only considered valid if it was printed on paper and signed with ink in front of two witnesses that were physically present in the same room. Now, residents of BC can sign and store wills electronically and have them witnessed via video.
The Testator/Will Maker Must Sign and Date It
Once the will has been created, it must be signed and dated by the individual that made it. If the testator/will maker is unable to physically sign it themselves, they may be able to direct someone to sign it on their behalf in front of valid witnesses. This signature must be placed at the end of the document.
Two Valid Witnesses Must Sign It
Two individuals must watch the testator sign the will and then sign the document themselves. Their signatures state that the creator of the will appears to be of sound mind and is not being unduly influenced by another party. These witnesses can be in the same room as the testator or they can observe the signing via a video call and sign the will with an electronic signature. It is crucial to note that witnesses cannot be a named executor and their spouse or a named beneficiary and their spouse. In most cases, a witness must be an individual who will not benefit from the will in any capacity.
The Testator Must be of Sound Mind and of Legal Age
In British Columbia, a testator must be at least 16 years of age and of sound mind to create a will and sign it. If the testator is found to have created the will under duress or in a state of mental instability, it will likely be regarded as invalid.
To learn more about wills, estates, and personal planning, get in touch with the experts at Sidhu & Associates. We can be reached through our online contact form and will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding our services.