1. What are the formalities of making a Will?
Although you can make a Will by yourself, it is advisable to seek help from a solicitor. This will save time and legal costs should it be necessary to prove (after your death) your intention and mental capacity at the time you prepared and signed the Will. A well-drafted Will can also minimize potential disputes among your family members and inheritors.
If you intend to prepare your own Will, the following formalities (which are mostly governed by section 5 and section 10 of the Wills Ordinance, Cap. 30 of the Laws of Hong Kong) should be followed:
- all of your intentions should be produced in writing;
- the Will is to be signed by you or a person in your presence and by your direction (the latter is not recommended unless there are special circumstances, such as you are physically unable to sign it);
- your signature and those of the witnesses should preferably be placed at the end of the Will;
- the Will should be dated before it is signed;
- your signature should be witnessed by two persons (aged 18 or above) present at the same time who should then sign your Will in your present; and
- the witness and his/her spouse should not be a beneficiary under your Will. If a beneficiary or his/her spouse witnesses the Will, the gift to the beneficiary under your Will is forfeited.