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Legal News | 24.06.18

“Where there’s a Will, there’s a way”…

… but only if that Will is valid!

This month, a woman walked out of the Court of Appeal with the entire fortune of her late husband, despite a Will written in 2012 only leaving her £15,000 and the rest to his son and grandson. The 2012 Will was not executed correctly and therefore was not binding, and as a result his estate passed in accordance with the terms in his previous Will, written 15 years earlier.

Moral of this story? Make sure your Will is valid.

Some of the requirements for a valid Will are:

  • That you have the required mental capacity
  • You show a clear intention to make a Will
  • That it is in writing
  • It should be signed in the presence of two witnesses

It is also worth noting:

  • Any marks on the Will, such as those created by staples or paperclips, might make the Will invalid
  • Your Will isn’t binding if witnessed by somebody who stands to benefit from your Will, or is closely related to someone who benefits under your Will
  • If you get married, unless your Will specifies otherwise, it will be automatically revoked
  • And of course if your Will isn’t binding, your estate might not go to the people that you want. Instead, it will follow the intestacy rules or the terms in a previous Will to dictate who benefits from your estate, as with the unlucky son and grandson this month.

Make sure your estate goes the way you want.

If you’d like to put a valid Will in place, or review an existing Will, speak to your usual contact at Wansbroughs.


Posted By Our Wills, Tax, Trusts & Probate Team