A person's will is a written document that sets out the person's wishes about how his or her estate  should be taken care of and distributed after death. It takes effect when the person dies.

Making a will is easy and is not expensive.  Your best advise is to contact a lawyer that specializes in wills and they will guide you through the entire process – from start to finish.  The basic requirements of a valid are that you must be at least 18 years of age and of sound mind at the time that the will is prepared.  There are also do-it-yourself options but take the time to ensure that this will meets the legal requirements of:

  • expressly stating that it is your will
  • revoking any previous will
  • be computer generated or typewritten
  • signed and dated
  • property witnessed by two witnesses who are not people that stand to inherit or benefit from anything in the will

Although you do not need a lawyer to complete a will, it is recommended to do one with a lawyer, as it will avoid any legal headaches following your death.  Once your will is complete, it’s recommended that it is kept somewhere safe and secure outside of your home.  If you do your will through a lawyer, most law firms will store it for you free of charge.  Many people keep their wills in a safety deposit box at a bank, but this is not recommended as the contents could be sealed at the time of death. The executor of your will should be aware of the location of it.