Attestation by witnesses is one of the essentials of a valid Will. It is a mandatory step. The persons who you choose as witnesses must be reliable because if the Will is contested in the future, they are the one who will testify that this Will is valid and all the essentials of a Will were fulfilled.
Why does a Will need to be witnessed?
A Will is required to be witnessed so that it becomes legally binding. Later in future, after your death, if the Will gets challenged, your witnesses will be the proof of the validity and authenticity of the Will, that it was signed voluntarily and was prepared in sound mind. There shall be a minimum 2 witnesses, however, there is no upper limit.
Who can be the witness?
- Any other trustworthy person
Who can’t witness?
- Spouse of such beneficiary
- Blind person
Things to keep in mind while choosing a witness?
Always choose that person as your witness:
- Whom you trust the most and that person has no interest in your Will.
- Who is younger than you, as the chances of him surviving after you will be more.
- Who will be ready to testify in future, if it will be required.
What do witnesses need to do?
- The witness does not need to know the contents of the Will. They should only ensure that the testator has the mental capacity and intention to make a Will.
- The witnesses must have either seen the testator sign the Will, or received the acknowledgement of the testator's signature.
- Then both the witnesses should sign the Will in the presence of the testator, this means that, it is not necessary for a witness to sign in front of another witness but it is mandatory to sign in front of the testator.
- Both the witnesses need not be present at the same time.
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