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Aston Lawyer
Aston Lawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10459
Experience:  Solicitor LLB (Hons) 23 years of experience in Conveyancing and Property Law
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A friend of mine has recently died and left a letter saying

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A friend of mine has recently died and left a letter saying I (full name, no address) leave my entire estate to (full name and address). It is signed, dated and witnessed by 2 people (their signature and name). Is this a legal Will, please.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 1 year ago.
Hello and thanks for using Just Answer.
My name is ***** ***** am happy to assist you with your enquiry.
A Will does not need to have been professionally drawn up to be valid, and although your friend's "Will2 appears to be very basic, it will indeed be valid if the following formalities have been complied with-
The testator must sign the document.
Normally, the signature must be at the end of the page of the will. There are instances however, that the signature is not at the bottom of the page but on the side of the page because there may not be enough space for the signature. There may also be situations when the testator only gives a partial signature because she/he is weak to complete the signature. The will shall still be considered valid as long as the testator intended that the mark or the signature was meant to attest that this was his last will and testament. Where the signature is not complete or where questions arise as to the way the will was executed or made, external evidence (e.g. affidavit of due execution) must be given by the attesting witnesses or the solicitor/legal executive who attended to the execution of the will.
There must be two witnesses to attest to the testator’s signature and to the correct execution of the will.
The witnesses must see the testator signing or executing the will. If even one of the two witnesses does not see the actual signing of the will, the will shall be considered invalid. It is, therefore, very important that the witnesses should be aware of and see the testator signing the document. It is not necessary for the witnesses to know the contents of the document. After attesting to and witnessing the signing of the will, the witnesses must attest the will by signing and acknowledging his signature in the presence of the testator.
Therefore, I am of the opinion from what you have said that the letter would be deemed to be a valid Will, provided the 2 witnesses carried out the above formalities, and your friend was of course mentally capable at the time of signing.
With all home made Wills, Probate Registries will require an affidavit from one or both witnesses (if still alive) to confirm the propoer execution of the Will.
I have this assists as far as I can.
If I have helped, I would be grateful if you could rate my answer.
Kind Regards
Al
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