Is Your Will Valid and Binding?

IS YOUR WILL VALID AND BINDING?

The making of a will is a very important act with far reaching consequences. Since you cannot “take it with you” when you die, having a valid will is one of the few ways you can give back to those you love in a proper, legal manner.

A valid will allows you to specify exactly how you would like your estate handled upon your death, including how and to whom property should be divided, who should watch over your minor children (if any), and who should manage the administration of your estate.

There are specific requirements that a will must meet to be legally enforceable. Some common requirements include the following:

Legal Capacity

The person making the will must be of sound mind at the time of the creation of the will. The test to determine if the person is of sound mind is if they know that he or she has made a will, understands its effect, understands the nature and extent of the estate and understands what he or she is disposing of.

Voluntary Intent

The will must be made voluntarily .If a person has been forced into writing an signing the will it will not be regarded as valid and binding.

Named Property

A will must dispose of property that is part of the deceased’s estate. It may list all property and assets that you owned at the time the will was created.

Beneficiaries

The will should state that the property is being disposed of by transferring it to a particular person or entity that is ascertainable. This may be to a person, business, and group of people (such as my children or my living grandchildren) or charitable organization.

Executor

An executor should also be named in a will. This is the individual who follows the instructions of the will. If an executor is not listed, the court may appoint one.

Signing and Witnesses

Even if a will is handwritten, there may still be witnesses that are required. Most countries Zimbabwe included require that there be at least two witnesses who will see you sign the will. The witnesses may also need to attest that they saw the other witness sign. The witnesses also need to sign and date the will.

Written Requirements

The will must generally be written. It may be typed or handwritten and signed.