Getting a Will signed properly is crucial

  • Posted

Posted 03/09/2009

Cambridgeshire newspapers carried a story in August about a Newmarket woman who admitted falsifying the execution of her late husband’s unsigned and unwitnessed Will. She admitted trying to pass off as genuine a Will which was neither signed nor witnessed at the time of his death but was allegedly signed by two witnesses after his sudden death overseas. Since there was no previous Will, the man’s estate is subject to the intestacy rules while his wife waits to learn whether or not she will receive a prison sentence for her crime.

Christina Duck, a solicitor in the Ashtons Legal Wealth Management team, comments: “This story illustrates very effectively the fact that not making a Will on the basis you are not yet very elderly or ill is dangerous. People do die unexpectedly, and if they leave no Will it can cause problems for the family after their death. The wife’s actions were clearly inappropriate and illegal. As outsiders we have no idea what the deceased’s intentions were, and what he wanted to happen to his assets, but we do know that as well as a wife he left 2 sons and 3 grandchildren from a previous marriage. The chances of the intestacy rules dividing up his estate in the same way as he himself would have done are probably minimal. The message is clear – the only way to be in control of your own assets after your death is to make a Will and ensure that it is signed and witnessed properly.”


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