When is a will valid?

There are various requirements needed in order for a will to be valid. Section 11 of the Wills Act lists these requirements:

  • The will must be in writing
  • It must be signed by the will-maker or by someone with direct authorisation from the will-maker
  • It must be signed in the presence of at least two witnesses

If the will fails to comply with these requirements, the High Court has the ability to validate it if they believe that it expresses the testamentary intentions of the deceased.

If you would like further advice regarding matters related to wills, please make an appointment with Malcolm McKenzie or Scott Donaldson.

I just got married, is my old will still valid?

The general rule is that an old will is automatically revoked upon the marriage (or civil union) of the will-maker. Due to this, in most cases your will is invalid upon entering into a new marriage.

However, there are some exceptions. For instance, when the will has been made in contemplation of the marriage/civil union, it may remain valid. There are further exceptions regarding powers of appointment in relation to wills.

For further information on any potential exceptions, please make an appointment with Malcolm McKenzie or Scott Donaldson.