In previous articles I have spoken about what makes a valid Will, and one of those requirements is that a Will needs to be witnessed by at least two persons.
But what if one of the witnesses is a beneficiary of the Will?
Section 10 of the Succession Act 2006 NSW provides that a gift to a witness in a Will is void; unless:
- Two of the people who witness the Will are not beneficiaries under the Will; or if
- The consent of all the other beneficiaries of the Will is obtained; or
- The Supreme Court of NSW (“The Court”) permits the gift to the witness.
What age can you make a Will?
Legislation throughout Australia defines that a minor is a person under the age of 18 and once a person obtains the age of 18 they have reached what is referred to, in New South Wales as, the age of majority.
Section 5 of the Act provides that a Will of a minor is invalid unless the minor is married or makes a Will in contemplation of marriage providing that the marriage takes place.
Nevertheless, the Court can authorise a minor to make a Will providing that:
- The Minor understands the nature and effects of the proposed Will;
- The proposed will accurately reflects the intentions of the minor; and
- That it is reasonable in all circumstances to authorise the minor to make a Will.
As always, the answers provided are for your general information only and we ask you to call our office on 1800 650 656 to obtain detailed legal advice for your individual situation.
Peter McManus | Wills and Estate Planning Solicitor