You are here: >> WillsHub-BHS Legal Home >> valid will

valid will

Making a valid will – what are the requirements?

Updated 26 October 2020.

valid will, making a valid will, what is a valid will,Leaving a legally valid will effective under the law

A will documents a person’s intentions for what they want to have happen when they die. To make a legally valid will means complying with all the prescribed legal requirements. Making a valid will according to law is important to its effectiveness.    Who else needs to sign a will?

A will documents a person’s intentions for what they want to have happen when they die, see What is a will.  It contains their instructions on who is to inherit their property and how, who will administer its disposal and any preferred arrangements for their funeral.  If their intentions are to be legally effective, and ultimately put into effect, the will needs to be valid and comply with the legal rules.

What is a will?

A will is a testamentary document

A will is a testamentary document, often referred to by lawyers as an ‘instrument’, setting out what a person intends to have happen to their property, (real and personal), and other matters, when they die.  It is the legal way to record a person’s instructions and wishes on how they want their property distributed on the event of their death, and who is to responsible for carrying out those wishes.  Because it is to take effect only on death, a will is referred to as being ‘testamentary’.  A testamentary document or instrument is one which its writer intends, at the time of writing it, to come into effect when they die, and not before. It is where a person sets out their intentions for the distribution of their property when they die.

Who can make a will?

Who can make a will to dispose of their property? Who can make a will? To make a will a person must be an adult and have the required mental capacity. A will made by a minor, being under 18, is generally invalid under State and Territory wills and succession legislation. Exceptions relate to contemplation of marriage, or altering or cancelling a prior will. If the contemplated marriage does not take place, the will is invalid. The court may authorise a minor to make, alter or cancel a will.