In relation to the law of succession: (i) Define a will; (ii) Explain four formalities of a will

Under the provisions of the Law of succession Act,
A will is the legal declaration by a person of his intention or wishes regarding the disposition of his property after death duly made and executed in accordance with the provisions of the Law of succession Act. A will includes a codicil.
A codicil is a testamentally instrument made in relation to a will explaining, altering or adding to its dispositions and appointments, duly made and executed in accordance with provisions of the Act relating to the making of wills.

Under section 11 of the Law of Succession Act, a written will is characterized by the following formalities:

  1. Writing: there must be some writing. The law does not insist on any form. It may be handwritten, typed or printed. The law does not prescribe the wording of a will.
  2. Signature or mark: the will must contain the signature or mark of the testator or some other person who signs in the presence and in accordance with the directions of the testator.
  3. Attestation: the will must be attested to or witnessed by two or more competent witnesses. The law does not prescribe the form of attestation.
  4. Position of signature or mark: the position of the signature or mark must clearly show that it was intended to give effect to the writing as a will.
  5. Presence of witnesses: all witnesses must sign the will in the presence of the testator. However they need not be present at the same time.


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