Q&A Is an undated will valid?

Q. My father died recently. He has made a will which is signed by him and witnessed but he has not dated the will. Is it valid?

A. According to law for a will to be valid it must be signed by the testator (person making the will) and at least two witnesses who are present when the will is signed. There is no legal requirement for a will to be dated to be valid. However, in order to apply for a Grant of Probate (authority to administer the estate) it will be necessary to provide evidence to a judge or registrar of the date on which the will was executed (signed).

One of the witnesses to the will or another person present at the signing of the will may give evidence of the date of signing. If it is not possible to give evidence of a particular date, evidence must be given that the will was signed during a particular time in between two dates. In this case both witnesses to the will are likely to be required to give evidence. If no one can give evidence of the date it will be necessary to provide evidence that a thorough search has been made and no other will has been found.

If the period in which the will was signed is considerably long, a search must confirm that no will of a later date has been found.

Sarah Dawson, Solicitor

*This article was previously printed in The Peterborough Telegraph