By law, a Will has to be witnessed by two witnesses in order to be valid. The witnesses of a Will must be people who are not due to inherit from the Will and ideally not related to the person making the Will.
As such, it is better to choose independent, impartial, and trustworthy witnesses such as friends, colleagues, a professional, or neighbours who do not have a personal interest in the Will.
In the UK, the general requirements for witnesses include the following:
- The witnesses must be at least 18 years old.
- They should be of sound mind and capable of understanding the nature of witnessing a Will.
- They must be present when the testator (the person making the Will) signs the document.
- Witnesses should have a clear view of the testator signing the Will. Therefore a witness cannot be blind as they need to be able to attest that the testator actually signed the Will.
- Both witnesses must sign the Will in the testator’s presence but do not have to sign in each other's presence.