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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71158
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My sister died recently. She wrote a will in 2012 when she

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My sister died recently. She wrote a will in 2012 when she believed she would continue living for several years. On diagnosis of a terminal illness she amended the first will but did not have the time to sign it. Is it possible for the beneficiaries of the first and second wills ( there are three and are the same ) to come to a legal agreement that adheres to the second ?

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

What assets are the subject of the will please?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The whole estate : house and contents, personal items ( jewellery etc),pensions and savings and bank account


An unsigned and will is just plain not valid.

However the beneficiaries are allowed to agree between them what they like but they are not under a duty to adhere to any wishes expressed in the unsigned will.

Is that all you wanted to know?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you. I understand your answer and whilst any agreement we reach between us would not be legally binding all beneficiaries wanted a legal form of the agreement , i.e. to be discussed with a lawyer/solicitor and signed. This would be for practical reasons and the uncertain country of residence for one of the beneficiaries. It is about security for all as well.

There is no problem at all in doing that.

Each beneficiary signs a deed of variation which then makes it binding.

The solicitor who deals with probate will arrange this but will usually insist that each of the beneficiaries takes independent legal advice, which, in all honesty, I would recommend also so that the beneficiaries who are giving up some inheritance, cannot claim that they were coerced into doing this

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