A written will must have the following characteristics:
• It must be signed by the maker.
• Incase its signed by somebody other than the maker, then this should be done in the presence of the maker and under his/her directions.
• It must me witnessed by two or more witnesses and these witnesses MUST NOT be beneficiaries in the will otherwise there shall be need of an additional two witnesses.
• If the maker of the will refers to another document in his will, the document shall be considered as part of the will as long as it is verified that it is the exact same document the maker was referring to in his/her will.
• An executor shall not be disqualified as a witness to prove execution of the will or to prove the validity or invalidity of the will.
• If the dependent or dependents feel that the deceased’s will does not provide adequately for their needs, they may make an application to the Court.
• The Court may order a specific share of the property be given to the dependent (s) or periodical payments or lump sum payment.
It is only valid if;
• Made before 2 or more competent witnesses;
• The maker dies within 3 months of making it;
• An oral will made by a member of the armed forces during a period of active service shall be valid if the maker of the will dies during the same period of active service even if he/she dies more than 3 months after making the will;
• If there is any conflict in evidence of witnesses as to what was said by the deceased in making an oral will, the oral will shall not be valid except if the contents can be proved by a competent independent witness.
•When the maker of a will lacks knowledge and approval of a will, the will is as if it was not made at all. This is because of
• Fraud / forgery
• Mistake / duress / undue influence