Many Australians go through the trouble of writing a DIY will because they want to make sure their loved ones are well cared for after their death. But when it is time to read the will, their families have to contend with the disappointment that the will is invalid. A number of different things can render a written will invalid, and it is important for anyone intending to write a self-prepared will to know what these things are.
Read on below to find out what will make your written DIY will invalid.
Lacking testamentary capacity
For you to write a valid will, you must have testamentary capacity. In the legal world, "testamentary capacity" is a legal term used to mean that you must be mentally sound when drafting a will. In essence, testamentary capacity is required to ensure you know that you are preparing a will and that you fully understand what the implications will be.
To demonstrate testamentary capacity, you should be able to include your entire property in your will and be able to eloquently express your wishes in the will. You cannot distribute property that does not belong to you through your will. Doing so would render that part of your will invalid.
Having no witnesses
It is totally understandable if you want to keep your will a secret from your family, but you can't keep the secret from everyone if you want the will to be valid. For a will to be valid, two adults who are not beneficiaries of the will must be present to witness the signing of the will by the testator, and they must also append their signatures to the will while being witnessed by the testator and the other witness.
Upon your demise, your witnesses will be called upon to confirm that you signed the written will in their presence. Common sense stipulates that your witnesses should not be blind. Not having witnesses is adequate grounds to make your will invalid. State laws may require that the signing of the will must take place at a formal or proper ceremony.
There are several legal requirements that you must meet so as to make your written will valid. While you are free to write a DIYer will, you should consider asking a wills and probate lawyer to help you make a will in order to avoid the risk of making an invalid will.