You have divided your estate, chosen your beneficiaries and completed your Will. Now all you need to do is make it legally binding. But who can sign it?
To ensure that your Will is legally valid, you will need to have two witnesses sign the document.
They do not need to be a lawyer, solicitor or notary but, there are specific requirements to follow.
Your witness needs to be classified as a legal adult in the eyes of the law, this means that they are over the age of 18 and mentally sound.
Your witnesses cannot be blind as they need to be able to confirm that you are signing your own Will. All states and territories include this requirement in their legislation.
Under Australian law, you cannot have a beneficiary as a witness as this will void their share of the estate - this is known as the Witness Beneficiary Rule.
While there are some exceptions to this rule, if you are uncertain it is best to seek legal advice.
When signing your Will it is important to ensure your witnesses meet the legal criteria to avoid the document being contested at a later date.
Disclaimer: The content of this blog is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. This blog should not be relied upon as legal, financial, accounting or tax advice