The Wills Act 1837 sets out requirements for a valid will – including that the will must be signed and witnessed in a prescribed manner. What do you do if you find that your loved one’s will is not properly signed? Is there any way around it? We’ve found that this regrettably happens frequently with ‘off the shelf wills’ or ‘low-fee wills’ drafted online or by will writers.

One of our clients recently found themselves in this position where their loved one’s will had not been properly signed. The loved one had printed their name but not ‘signed’ where noted. Thankfully the witnesses who had both been present during the execution of the will had a good memory and were able to provide us with detailed statements about the circumstances in which the will was executed. We had to prepare detailed affidavits of their evidence to present to the Probate Registry which was accepted before a Grant of Probate was issued.

The lesson is to get advice on the execution of the document if you want to be certain it is done properly and most importantly use a reputable solicitor to prepare your Will. The additional cost to the estate would have been avoided in this case.

Pishon Gold are proud supporters of The Chartwell Cancer Trust. If you are thinking of leaving a gift to support the work of this charity, we are pleased to offer a 10% discount on our standard will writing service.

For more information contact Pishon Gold Solicitors LB of Bromley on 0208 468 1032 or email