Insights & advice

An example of why Wills should not be left until the last minute

Wills Act – Don’t Leave Until The Last Minute | Middletons Solicitors  | Andover Solicitors

The Wills Act 1837.  175 years ago Parliament passed the Wills Act which still dictates whether a Will is valid today. When you consider the number of Acts of Parliament which have been added to the statute book since then, it is perhaps surprising that the development of the law relating to Wills has largely been left to the Judges by way of case law rather than Members of Parliament. 

The latest judicial involvement was in the Court of Appeal recently when the Appeal Court Judges reminded Lawyers and Judges that they should apply the strict formality requirements of the Wills Act.  The case involved the deceased’s sister signing his Will on his behalf shortly before he died.  The Will had been hand written by his sister’s daughter and stated that his entire estate should pass to his sister.

The Court said that for a deathbed Will to be valid the person making the Will must make some positive communication of his desire that someone else should sign his Will on his behalf. It decided in this case that there had not been the required communication and the Will was not valid.

This reminds us all that we should not leave things to the last moment.  We should all make our Wills when we have all our faculties, without the influence of others and most importantly with the benefit of good sound legal advice from a solicitor who specialises in the preparation of Wills and the winding up of estates.

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Just a short note to once again express my sincere thanks to you, Sue and the M&U team, for all your help, cooperation and first class professional support. I am most grateful to you all.

Chris Stephenson, Warminster

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