Will Challenge Fails

If you sign a will that is incorrectly drafted, you may think it would be a simple matter for the will to be amended after your death.

Regrettably, this is often not the case. A will can be varied, with the agreement of all the beneficiaries affected by the change, by means of a ‘Deed of Variation’. However, this option is not always available.

Currently, a will can also be varied (‘rectified’) if it can be clearly demonstrated that an error it contains came about because of a clerical mistake on the part of the person drafting it or it was drafted in the way it was because of a clear failure to understand the testator’s instructions. Rectification is not available, however, when the error contained in the will is a legal mistake.

In a recent case, an attempt to obtain the rectification of a will on the ground that it did not, as drafted, represent correctly the testator’s wishes was denied by the court. As a result, because of the drafting error, £100,000 of the estate will pass to four people who were not intended to inherit under the will.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.