How to Write A Will?

How to Write A Will? :

A will is a formal document made by a person specifying how his/her property should be disposed off after his or her death. The following is just a brief guide on writing a will. A lawyer should be consulted if there are any doubts about the legality of one’s will.

A will can be written on any material, preferably paper. If can be hand-written, typed or printed. If it is hand-written, it should be legible.

Every will must be signed in ink by the person making it in the presence of two witnesses. A thumb print is acceptable if the person is illiterate.

Two witnesses must be present when a person signs his or her Will. Then both witnesses must sign on the will to acknowledge the signature of the person making the will. A blind person cannot be a witness. Any other sane person can be.

It is not necessary for the witnesses to know what is in the will nor to read it. Their sole function is to see the person making the will sign it.

The two witnesses must not be beneficiaries under the will.

Alteration and Codicil :

Any alteration to the will has to be made in ink. Then it must be signed by the person making the will and the two witnesses. Preferably no alteration should be made. It is better to make a new will.

A codicil is a supplementary document modifying, revoking or explaining a will. Again it is not advisable to make a codicil. A new Will is preferable.

It is important to use words that are exact and unambiguous. There must be no room for misinterpretation.

The following are words commonly used in writing a Will.

BENEFICIARY is a person or thing that receives a gift in the will.

BEQEATH and I BEQUEATH usually refer to money or personal properly.

DEVISE and I DEVISE usually refers to a gift of land (with house).

EXECUTOR and EXECUTRIX are the persons appointed to administer a will. An executrix is a female executor. An executor may be a person receiving a gift under a will. Normally an executor does not get paid for administrating a will unless specifically stated in the will.

MINOR is a person under 18 years old.

PECUNIARY LEGACY is a gift of money in a will.

RESIDUE is the amount left of an estate after all the gifts and expenses under a will have been given or paid.

TRUSTEE is a person who looks after a gift on behalf of another person (usually a minor). Normally two trustees are appointed in case one dies.

TESTAMENTARY EXPENSES are expenses incurred in administrating a will.


  1. Statement that this is one’s Last will and testament

  2. Full name(s), address and date of the will

  3. Statement revoking all previous wills

  4. Appointment of executor(s) and payment (if any)

  5. List of gifts of specific items

  6. List of pecuniary legacies

  7. List of gifts of land

  8. Any other instructions

  9. Usual signature

  10. Signature of two witnesses

How to Write A Will?

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