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Contentious Probate Series Part 5 - Failure to Execute the Will Correctly

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31st October 2023

Section 9 of the Wills Act 1837 governs the requirements for executing a valid Will.

For a Will to be valid it must be in writing, signed by the testator or by some other person in the testator's presence and by the testator's direction, and be attested and signed by two or more witnesses in the presence of the testator. Section 9 also lays out that a Will can be made by someone who is unable to write, by making a mark, in the presence of two or more witnesses and the Will is then signed by those witnesses in the presence of the testator.

It’s relatively easy to get this wrong, especially with homemade Wills. For that reason, it is always prudent to have the Will witnessed before solicitors to ensure compliance with Section 9 which, if not met, invalidates the Will. This can be a very costly error which is easily avoided.

If you have any questions concerning a contentious probate claim, please contact Noel McNicholas on 01926 887700 or This blog was written by Noel, an Associate Solicitor based in our Leamington Spa office. Click here to see his ReviewSolicitors profile where he is rated 4.9/5 stars out of 22 reviews.