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Lack of Execution - Contesting a Will

Whilst the requirements for making a Will have become less stringent over time in almost all cases there are still certain requirements which must be met for a Will to be valid. It must be:

  1. In writing signed by the testator or by some other person in his presence and by his direction;
  2. It must appear that the testator intended by his signature to give effect to the Will;
  3. The signature must be made or acknowledged by the testator in the presence of two or more witnesses present at the same time; and
  4. Each witness must either attest and sign the Will or acknowledge the signature in the presence of the testator but not necessarily in the presence of any other witness. 

If any of these elements are not present or there is doubt then the Will may be challenged. However, there is a presumption of due execution which means that everything is to be presumed to have been done properly.  Accordingly, the burden is strongly on those attempting to challenge the Will.