Individual Will User Notes
By using this Will, you appoint an executor (or more than one) and leave your estate to one or more people (subject to any specific gifts and legacies you wish to make) with a ‘gift over’ should a chosen beneficiary die before you.
You can also use this will to appoint a guardian if you have any children under the age of 18 years.
Survivorship clause This is a common provision in a will which means a gift to the beneficiary is conditional (ie will only take effect) upon that person surviving the testator by a specific time period (usually 28 days). If the beneficiary dies within that period, the gift will pass into the residuary estate (or in accordance with any gift over clause – see above).
Your name and address You must include your real name and all names by which you are commonly known. It is advisable to include your address unless it is a temporary address. Throughout this Will Template, you are referred to as ‘the Testator’.
Revocation clauses When you make a new will, any existing will or codicil is automatically revoked and is therefore invalid.
Executors You may appoint up to four executors. Most people appoint one or two. It is important to include their full names and addresses in your will.
Trustees’ powers Your executors (also known as ‘personal representatives’) will also act as the trustees of your estate and have legal responsibilities in respect of administering your estate; and towards the beneficiaries.
‘Gift Over’ clause A gift over clause means there is provision in your will to enable someone (or more than one) to inherit your estate if your preferred beneficiary(ies) do not survive you. It is important to think about who you would choose to inherit that share if your preferred beneficiary does not survive you – otherwise it will pass into your residuary estate.
Signing and Executing your Will Legal requirements: The law requires certain formalities to be complied with in order for the will to be legally valid. If your will is deemed to be invalid after your death because it was incorrectly executed when you signed the will, your estate will be distributed according to the statutory rules of intestacy [inbound link]. This means your property may not go to your preferred beneficiaries.
Signature The will must be signed by you or by someone else at your specific direction. Your signature might be a mark such as a thumbprint or partial signature.
Witnesses Your signature must be ‘attested’. This means your signature must be affirmed to be genuine by at least two witnesses who must sign your will when you have done so. They do not have to be physically present when you sign your will but they must be present either at the signing of it, or at a time when you acknowledge to them that the signature is yours.
No witness must be a beneficiary under the will, or married to (or the civil partner of) a beneficiary under your will.