execution of will

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The process by which a testator's will is made legally valid. Under section 9 of the Wills Act 1837, the will must be signed at the end by the testator or by someone authorized by him, and the signature must be made or acknowledged (see acknowledgment) by the testator in the presence of at least two witnesses, present at the same time, who must themselves sign the will or acknowledge their signatures in the testator's presence. A will witnessed by a beneficiary or the beneficiary's spouse is not void, but the gift to that beneficiary or spouse is void (Wills Act 1837 s 15). A clause in a will permitting an executor to charge for his services is not treated as a gift for the purposes of section 15, so that an executor may act as a witness without forfeiting his charges (Trustee Act 2000 s 28).

Subjects: Law.

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