Chapter 12:02 - Wills

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L.R.O. 1/2012
LAWS OF GUYANA
WILLS ACT
CHAPTER 12:02
Act
12 of 1906
1 – 8 ... 1/2012 (inclusive) by L.R.O.
Pages Authorised
Current Authorised Pages
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Note
on
Subsidiary Legislation
This Chapter contains no subsidiary legislation.
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CHAPTER 12:02
WILLS ACT
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
SECTION
1. Short title.
2. Interpretation of “will.”
3. Abolition of notarial will.
4. Rules as to execution and attestation of wills.
5. What signatures to a will are to be deemed to be valid.
6. Who are competent to attest execution of a will.
7. Persons attesting execution of a will to forfeit any interest they may
have conferred upon them in the will.
8. Persons attesting execution of a will to forfeit any appointment
made therein as executor or guardian.
9. Heir not entitled to deduct any portion under Falcidian and
Trebellianic laws.
10. Existing laws of inheritance ab intestato to remain in force.
11. Application of certain sections.
12. (a) Gifts to illegitimate children.
(b) Appointment of women as guardians.
(c) Right of non-relatives to refuse guardianship.
(d) Lex Hac Edictali repealed.
13. Repugnant laws repealed.
__________________________ 1929 Ed.
c. 148
1953 Ed.
c. 47 _______________________________________________________
12 of 1906 An Act to amend the Law relating to Wills and the
Attestation thereof, and to remove certain restrictions in
the freedom of the disposition of property by the owner
thereof.
[3RD OCTOBER, 1906]

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Short title.
Interpretation
of “will.”

Abolition of
notarial will.

Rules as to
execution and
attestation of
wills.

What
signatures to a
will are to be
deemed to be
valid.
1. This Act may be cited as the Wills Act.
2. In this Act, the word “will” includes a testamentary
disposition, a codicil and an appointment by will or by
writing in the nature of a will in the exercise of a power.
3. From and after the commencement of this Act no
notarial will shall be made in Guyana, or, except as
hereinafter provided, shall be valid or effectual for any
purpose whatsoever:
Provided that nothing in this Act shall affect the validity
of any notarial will duly made before the commencement of
this Act and not subsequently revoked, and that will shall be
as valid and effectual for all purposes as if this Act had not
been passed.
4. No will made in Guyana shall be valid unless it is in
writing and executed in manner hereinafter mentioned; that is
to say, it shall be signed at the foot or end thereof by the
testator, or by some other person in his presence and by his
direction, and the signature shall be made or acknowledged
by the testator in the presence of two or more witnesses
present at the same time, and those witnesses shall attest and
shall subscribe the will in the presence of the testator, but no
form of attestation shall be necessary.
5. (1) Every will shall, so far only as regards the
position of the signature of the testator or of the person
signing for him, be deemed to be valid within the preceding
section if the signature is so placed at or after, or following, or
under, or beside, or opposite to, the end of the will, that it is
apparent on the face of the will that the testator intended to
give effect by that signature to the writing signed as his will.
(2) No will shall be affected by the circumstance—
(a) that the signature—
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Who are
competent to
(i) does not follow or is not
immediately after the foot or
end of the will; or
(ii) is placed among the words of
the attestation clause or
follows, or is after or under, the
attestation clause, either with or
without a blank space
intervening, or follows, or is
under or beside, the names or
one of the names of the
subscribing witness; or
(iii) is on a side, or page, or other
portion, of the paper or papers
containing the will whereon no
clause, or paragraph, or
disposing part, of the will is
written above the signature; or
(b) that a blank space intervenes between
the concluding word of the will and
the signature; or
(c) that there appears to be sufficient
space, on or at the bottom of the
preceding side, or page, or other
portion, of the same paper on which
the will is written, to contain the
signature;
and the enumeration of the above circumstances shall not
restrict the generality of this enactment, but no signature
under this Act shall be operative to give effect to any
disposition or direction which is underneath it or which
follows it, nor shall it give effect to any disposition or
direction inserted after the signature is made.
6. Everyone, save as hereinafter excepted, above the
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attest execution
of a will.
Persons
attesting
execution of a
will to forfeit
any interest
they may have
conferred upon
them in the
will.

Persons
attesting
execution of a
will to forfeit
any appointment
made therein as
executor or
guardian.
Heir not
entitled to
deduct any
portion under
Falcidian and
Trebellianic
laws.

Existing laws of
inheritance ab
intestato to
remain in force.
Application of
certain sections.

age of fourteen years, competent to give evidence in any court
of law in Guyana, shall be competent and qualified to attest
the execution of a will.
7. If anyone attests the execution of a will to whom, or
to whose wife or husband, any beneficial devise, legacy,
estate, interest, gift, or appointment, of or affecting any
property (other than and except charges and directions for the
payment of any debt or debts), is thereby given or made, that
devise, or legacy, estate, interest, gift, or appointment, shall,
so far only as concerns the person attesting the execution of
that will, or the wife or husband of that person, or anyone
claiming under that person, or wife or husband, be null and
void, but the execution of the will shall not be affected
thereby.
8. If any person attests the execution of a will, and the
person, or the wife or husband of the person, is, in and by the
will, nominated or appointed executor, administrator, or
guardian thereunder, the appointment of that person, or the
wife or husband of that person, as executor, administrator, or
guardian, shall be null and void, but the execution of the will
shall not be affected thereby.
9. In no case shall any heir of any one dying after the
commencement of this Act be entitled to deduct out of the
estate of the person so dying any portion under or by virtue
of the laws known respectively as the Falcidian and
Trebellianic laws which but for those laws respectively, the
heir would not be entitled to claim or deduct.
10. Nothing in this Act contained shall affect or alter
the laws of inheritance (on intestacy) at present in force in
Guyana.
11. Sections 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 10 shall apply to the wills,
whether made before or after the commencement of this Act,
of all persons dying after the commencement.
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Gifts to
illegitimate
children.


Appointment
of women as
guardians.
Right of non-
relatives to
refuse
guardianship.


Lex Hac Edictali
repealed.

12. From and after the commencement of this Act—
(a) no restriction whatever shall be
placed on any gifts by will by any
parent to his or her illegitimate
children; but nothing herein shall
prevent any legitimate child or
relative from receiving his legitimate
portion free from all conditions;
(b) any woman, not an infant or
otherwise under disability, whether
married or unmarried, may be
appointed guardian by a will;
(c) it shall not be necessary for any
person appointed guardian under a
will other than a beneficiary under the
will, or the parent, child, grandparent,
grandchild, brother, sister, uncle, or
aunt of the testator, to obtain the
permission of the Court to enable him
to refuse the guardianship, but on
filing an affidavit with the Registrar,
stating that he is not a beneficiary or
relative as aforesaid and does not
desire to act, he shall be thereby
discharged from all obligations in
regard to the appointment;
(d) the sixth law of the ninth title of the
fifth book of the Codes of Justinian,
commencing with the words “Hac
edictali,” and commonly called or
known as the Law or Lex Edictali, shall
not apply to or have any force in
Guyana.

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Repugnant
laws repealed.
13. So much of any law or Act heretofore existing in
Guyana as is repugnant to, or inconsistent with, any of the
provisions of this Act is hereby repealed.
________________
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