Will Disputes – Specialist advice at a difficult time

Catherine Green, Partner and Civil and Commercial Disputes Solicitor at WSP Solicitors
In recent years there has been an increase in Will disputes, which can be partly attributed to wills being drafted at home with ‘will packs’ or through unregulated companies offering will drafting services. The formal requirements for executing a will are set out in the wills Act 1837, s9 as amended by the Administration of Justice Act 1982, which states that ‘No will shall be valid unless –
(a) It is in writing, and signed by the testator, or by some other person in his presence and by his direction;
(b) It appears that the testator intended the signature to give effect to the will;
(c) The signature is made or acknowledged by the testator in the presence of two or more witnesses present at the same time; and
(d) Each witness either –
(i) Attests and signs the will; or
(ii) Acknowledges the signature, in the presence of the testator (but not necessarily in the presence of any other witness), but no form of attestation shall be necessary.

 

However, once duly executed only a marriage or civil partnership will automatically revoke a will. Apart from this a will can only be revoked in accordance with the Wills Act 1837, s20, namely:
(1) By another will or codicil;
(2) By some writing declaring an intention to revoke a will and executed in the same manner as a will; or
(3) By burning, tearing, or otherwise destroying the Will by the testator, or by someone in his presence and by his direction, with the intention of revoking the will.’

 

If you are potentially involved in a dispute over a will or have suspicions over how a will was prepared please contact WSP Solicitors. We will take the time to get to know your situation and the issues that surround the dispute. With our continuing support we will do all we can to make the process as straightforward as possible. Please email catherinegreen@wspsolicitors.com or call 01453 847200.

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