How To Make Your Will Legally Binding Header

How to make your will ‘legally binding’

Your will is the best place to set out what you want to happen to you, your loved ones and your money when you die. Here, we explain how to make sure your wishes are legally binding.

The myth

Most people think they have to spend £100s going to see a lawyer or solicitor to get a legal will – and they often think this will take hours, days or sometimes even weeks.

The truth

Whether you write your will online or with a high street solicitor, you need to print and sign it in front of two witnesses to make it legal – and you need to make sure they both sign it too. One of the most important rules here is that the witnesses can’t be beneficiaries of your will, or married to beneficiaries, otherwise they won’t get any gifts you intended to leave them.

Is that all there is to it?

Well, yes and no. Yes, your signature really is the key to making your will legally binding, but there are other steps you can take to help your executors follow your wishes. That’s where the wording of your will becomes so important.

For example, imagine you want to leave your car as a gift to your son. In your will, you could write: "I give my Ford Focus to my son". But if the car you own at the date of your death is different to the car you own now, your wishes could be contested. To avoid ambiguity in this scenario, you could amend your will to say: “I give my car at the date of my death to my son” – that way, your car would still be passed down to your son, even if you change it in the future.

How can I stop my will being contested?

The best way to prevent your will from being contested is to get it checked by a will specialist – which is exactly what happens when you write your will with Farewill. Our specialist checks make sure that you haven't left anything open to interpretation. And if we spot something that can be improved or clarified, we'll let you know right away.