Making A Will Or Giving A Gift On Your Deathbed
December 15, 2021

In an ideal world, you will have made your Will well in advance of your passing. This is the best way to avoid legal disputes between those inheriting. However, in some cases, Wills will be made or gifts will be given on your deathbed. What does this mean, legally? What kind of gifts can be left and are they valid? Read on to find out.

When Does A Will Or A Gift Come Into Effect?

A Will can only come into effect after the person has died. However, when it comes to a gift, it can take immediate effect even before the death has occurred.

Do You Need To Register A Will Or Gift?

With a Will, you do not need to register the Will itself. In the case of leaving a gift, it is compulsory to register this under the transfer of property act. This is to prevent any gifts from being given under duress.

What Are The Three Types Of Gifts?

To leave a gift in your Will, you should be aware of the three different types. These are a specific gift, a non-specific gift, and a residuary gift. Specific gifts in a Will refer to something that you own which you are giving; this can be as small as a wedding ring or as large as a house. A non-specific gift refers to something without a solid description, such as “my possessions” or “my personal property”. A residuary gift is what will be left over from your estate once debts have been paid and cleared.

What Makes A Will Valid?

For a Will to be fully valid, it must be written and signed by the person leaving the Will and witnessed by two people. The person writing the Will must be of sound mind and not completing the Will under duress or undue influence. When it comes to a gift, this also requires two witnesses. Anyone over the age of 18 can be a witness, unless they are a beneficiary, a spouse or civil partner. However, even under these restrictions, the eligibility of the gift can be called into question and it may fail.

When Can The Gift Not Be Granted?

The gift may not be granted if it is left to a relative, friend or charity, but is found to have been incorrectly described and cannot be identified.

Are you dealing with matters regarding inheritance or any other legal questions? Get in touch with Bowsers Solicitors for professional and expert help from initial queries to more in-depth support.

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