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UKSolicitorJA
UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 4312
Experience:  English solicitor with over 12 years experience
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Is a legal will that has had crossings out and notes added

Resolved Question:

Is a legal will that has had crossings out and notes added at a later date still valid (in its original form)? Or do the amendments totally negate the will?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Alex J. :

Hi, Thank you for your question and welcome. The amendments will not invalidate the will as long as they have been properly witnessed and initialed by the grantor.

Alex J. :

Can I assist any further?

Alex J. :

Kind regards AJ

Customer:

The amendments have not been witnessed. They were made ad hoc at some point between the will being written (Dec last year) and the death of the legator.

Alex J. :

Hi, Thank you. Based on that it is not going to be valid. Technically you should not amend wills at will, you should just create a separate amendment.

Alex J. :

Hand written notes cannot be taken into account as binding.

Customer:

The original will was prepared and witnessed by a solicitor. The amendments have been made, as I said, ad hoc at some point. I realise that the amendments themselves are not legal, but wonder if they negate the whole will?

Alex J. :

Hi, Thank you. I do not believe they would, as long as the document can be clearly followed without uncertainty ignoring the amendments.

Customer:

Is that a yes or a no? Do I need to engage a solicitor to look after my family's interests? As it stands the estate is going to be settled to the next of kin, of which I am one of three. One of the others (my cousin) was specifically left out of the will and my daughter was to be a main beneficiary. It his her interests that I am trying to protect.

Alex J. :

Hi, Thank you. As long as the will can be clearly read and interpreted then it wont be invalid. The amendments are not however effective.

Alex J. :

When were the amendments made and who made them.

Customer:

The deceased, my aunt, made the amendments at some point early in the last year. The will was signed on 13th Dec 2013, and my aunt was hospitalised and then in care (with the rapid onset of dementia) since early summer, so the 'amendments' were made between December last year and early summer this year. They were not witnessed and unknown to anyone. Apart from the witnesses no-one had seen the will until after my aunts death.

Customer:

I am a bit baffled and disappointed. Alex J asked me a question then opted out of the conversation? I have been waiting for nearly an hour for one of your '2 other' solicitors to be with me 'shortly'.

Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 3 years ago.
Hello,

My colleague has opted out of this question.

Your daughtrer/you should certainly argue that the original Will is effective discounting the amendments made to it on the grounds that it is hard to say who made the amendments (could have been anyone) and that such amendments if made by the Will maker should have been done by way of a codicil which should then have been witnessed properly in the same was as the original Will was witnessed.

May I help further?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you. The amendments did not affect my daughters position. My query really is to find out if an incorrectly amended will, if it is the only will in existence, will still stand, or whether my aunt will be regarded as having died intestate?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Is that it then? Conversation over?

Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 3 years ago.
Sorry I was offline briefly.

The original Will still stands and the amendments are to be ignored in this case.

Hope this helps
UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 4312
Experience: English solicitor with over 12 years experience
UKSolicitorJA and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you very much indeed. Sorry I got petulant! Laughing