Anyway, the solicitors' firm is also an executor, and when they witnessed the document in their office I expressed mild surprise that they were able to do that, given that they were also named in the will. "But not as a beneficiary," they explained, adding: "If a beneficiary were to witness the will, they would disinherit themselves."
"What?" I replied, letting the implications of this sink in. "You mean, it wouldn't invalidate the will?"
"No. In fact, it's a common problem when people make wills at home. The will is still perfectly legal, but the main beneficiary is disinherited."
Did you know that? It strikes me as counterintuitive, and probably often devastating in its consequences - but also a wonderful opportunity for post-mortem passive aggression.
"Come, Johnny - you always were my favourite grandchild, so I'd like you to be the one to witness my will for me." [Thinks: "Heh heh, this will pay you back for the Tiddles incident."]