An independent witness refers to an individual who has no personal interest in the contents of your will. When it comes to signing your will, having independent witnesses is important to ensure its validity and credibility. Here’s what it means to have an independent witness:
- Unbiased and neutral: an independent witness is someone who does not stand to benefit from your will or have any conflicts of interest. They should be impartial and not be named as a beneficiary in your will or be closely related to any beneficiaries.
- Verification and credibility: the role of an independent witness is to observe you signing your will and confirm that it is indeed your signature. By having independent witnesses present, it adds credibility and helps prevent potential challenges regarding the authenticity of your will.
- Legal requirements: the number of witnesses required may vary depending on your jurisdiction. In many places, including south africa, having two independent witnesses is typically required. These witnesses should be of legal age and mentally capable of understanding the significance of their role as witnesses.
By selecting independent witnesses, you ensure that your will is more likely to be accepted as legally valid and accurately representing your wishes. Remember, it’s important to choose witnesses who are trustworthy, willing to fulfil their role, and who understand the importance of their impartiality in the process.