International Wills

by M-Gillies
last will and testament document

Modern life is becoming increasingly international. This means that owning assets in more than one country is becoming more common.

In 1973, a number of nations signed up to the Convention providing a Uniform Law on the Form of an International Will, otherwise known as the Washington Convention.

This law which describes circumstances in which a person who has prepared a will moves to another country, province or state, or where the testator owns property in a foreign jurisdiction. Since conflicts between the laws of jurisdiction could prevent the will from being interpreted as the testator intended, a testator can prepare a will in the form prescribed for an international leaving and said will be recognizably valid in any other state or nation.

The criteria required to meet the standards set for an international will to be valid are:

* The will needs to be in writing, although it will not matter which language it is written in;

* The testator will need to declare in the presence of two witnesses and a person authorized to act in connection with international wills, that the document is his or her own, and that he or she knows what the contents of the document are;

* The testator will be required to sign the will in the presence of two witnesses and the authorized person.

* If there are two or more pages, the pages are to be numbered and the witnesses and the authorized person will have to sign each page, with the authorized person dating his or her signature.


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