Witnessing a Will

Witnessing a Will

Here is some helpful advice from MakeMyWill Solicitors to read before you arrange to sign your Will. Witnessing a Will properly is just as important as the signing of it.


“Who can witness a will?”


You’ve finally taken the plunge and instructed your solicitor to draft your Will, after years of putting it off. Together, you’ve gone trough the various aspects, such as choosing the right Executor, who you need to look after, how to minimise inheritance tax for your beneficiaries, whether you need to appoint Trustees, etc. and you are happy with the final document.


So, now what?


To make a Will legally binding, it must be signed (executed) correctly. In short, you must sign the document in front of two independent witnesses.


  • The witnesses must be able to see you writing your signature on the Will, underneath the date. Do not sign it without the two of them being in the room.
  • The witnesses cannot be beneficiaries named in the Will, and should not be connected with the beneficiaries, e.g. a spouse or child of a beneficiary.
  • The witnesses to not need to see what is in the Will; only the last section, with the blank space where you will be signing. If there is private information on the same page that you don’t wish to disclose, just cover up the rest of the page.
  • The two witnesses must sign and write their addresses and occupations.


“Who can I ask?”


Many of my Clients ask work colleagues, neighbours or family friends to be the witnesses. They can be related to each other, e.g. a husband & wife. You do not have to get a solicitor to be a witness.


“Do the witnesses just write their signature?”


No, the witness must be traceable, if ever there was a query/dispute about the execution of the Will. They must write their name, address and occupation underneath the clause beneath your signature. This must be legible for obvious reasons. If the witness is retired, they must state their previous occupation, e.g. “retired teacher”.


Sample witness section


Always show your solicitor who drafted up your Will the signed page so that they can verify it has been correctly executed. You’ve done the hard part, so make sure the final document is legally binding and you haven’t wasted your time and money.

If you have any queries on witnessing a Will, or need any guidance, please get in touch with me and I would be happy to help.

Thanks for reading.



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