Old Will is brought back from the dead to scare would-be beneficiaries!
The High Court in England and Wales recently ruled that 13 separate Wills made by the late June Clark between 2004 and her death in 2016 were invalid because a Will she had executed in July 2000, at the same time as her (now late) husband, was judged to be a mutual Will binding on her estate in perpetuity. The deceased’s daughters had earlier challenged the final Will she had made in December 2014, and which was granted probate in April 2016 – two months after her death. The 2 daughters were to receive significantly less under the 2014 Will than the 2000 Will.
Such a finding would not be possible in Scotland as we do not recognise the legal doctrine applied in this case - the equitable doctrine of mutual Wills. If the facts were the same, but in Scotland, the validly executed 2014 Will would revoke all prior Wills and, because of recent legislation, now has no chance of ‘reviving’.
Although this is a decision made in a separate legal jurisdiction and highly unlikely in Scots law, it is nevertheless a timely reminder to review your Will regularly and to ensure you seek expert advice if you consider making a change.
If you would like us to review your affairs or if you have any questions in general, please contact our expert Private Client team here at Clyde & Co and we would be delighted to help.
0131 524 2248