Posted: Thursday, 10 October 2019 @ 14:42
The recent and widely reported case of Anna Rea Deceased who died in July 2016 and left her daughter the vast bulk of £1m estate to her daughter(not the other children) highlights a key aspect of the way the Courts view such matters.
As the Judge in this case pointed out regarding the latest and legally enforceable will - It is not the Court's job to rule whether the will was fair, only whether it was valid.
And this is the rub.
As my firm has pointed out in this blog How To Tell If a Will Is Legally Binding there are a number of key legal formalities which have to be reached in order for a will to be valid.
These include that the will is in writing, and signed by the Testator
(person making the will), or by the presence of two or more witnesses present at the same time.
Anyone can prepare a will. Nevertheless, suspicion
will be raised if the person who prepares it is a major beneficiary, a close
relative of a major beneficiary or a partner of a major beneficiary.
As long as the person who is making the will is mentally capable the will should stand up to scrutiny too.
What is also interesting about the Anna Rea case is that the deceased also made a statement in a will that she was ready for a legal challenge from the other children and explained her reasons for disinheriting them.
No doubt this was considered by the Judge too.