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Posted 9 January 2017

Incorrect terminology in Wills can trigger costly court cases

A recent decision by the High Court in the case of The Society v Robinson & Ors highlights the importance of using the correct terminology when writing a Will.

In this case the deceased had two Wills, the first to deal with his assets in Switzerland and the second to deal with his assets held elsewhere. However, the second Will stated that it only extended to his property held in the United Kingdom (“UK”). Herein lies the problem, as most of his assets were held in accounts outside of the UK, in Jersey and the Isle of Man. Therefore, these assets were not covered by either of his Wills and his estate was partially intestate.

The desired outcome was however achieved here, as the court decided that it would disregard the term “United Kingdom” and instead agreed to follow the intentions of the deceased in that all of his estate held outside of Switzerland should pass in accordance with his UK Will. However, this came at a great cost and only after a lengthy court case, which could easily have been avoided if the correct terminology had been used in the first instance.

This case shows just how important it is to get your Will right the first time. We can help you!  At Tozers we have a specialist team who deal with drafting both simple and complex Wills. We tailor our service to meet individual client’s needs and can guide you through the process of writing your Will.

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