In a will – also called a testamentary disposition – the testator expresses his will regarding the distribution of his estate in the event of his death. By drawing up a will, unilateral instructions concerning the estate can be given during the testator’s lifetime. Therefore a will is ultimately a unilateral legal act in the event of death.

In practice, wills play an extremely central role. We are happy to advise you on designing your will and are available to assist you in any further steps.

Questions concerning the drafting of a “will”

In order to dispose of assets in a will, you must be capable of judgement and have attained the age of majority. A will is therefore only valid if it is drawn up by the testator, i.e. representation is excluded. When drafting the will, care must also be taken to ensure that the statutory formal requirements are complied with.

A will can be written by hand or drawn up by notarial deed. The testator must write the handwritten will, by hand, from beginning to end. He must also date (indicating the year, month and date of writing) and sign it. To enhance the legal protection of the testator, in certain cases it is advisable to have a notary draft the will.

Only in exceptional circumstances is an oral disposition of the testator’s wishes also allowed (so-called emergency will).

Although a will can be drafted by hand, it is advisable, for reasons pertaining to legal certainty, to have it recorded in a notarial deed in certain situations. This may be useful, in particular, if:

  • the testator concerned is no longer able to write or read for himself; or
  • the testator has already reached an advanced age (by notarisation, the notary certifies that the testator is capable of judgement).

The testator can change the will unilaterally providing he is capable of judgement. Since amending a will often results in inconsistencies, we recommend that you obtain prior advice from a specialist.