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Don't Wait until You're Old to Make a Will!
Making or changing your will in advanced old age is a positive invitation to disputes after you are gone, and that is one good reason why you should not put off seeing a solicitor. A case concerning a 90-year-old woman who made her will nine days before her death illustrates the point.
By her will, the old lady left the entirety of her £150,000 estate to her son and nothing at all to her daughter. In challenging the document’s validity, the daughter argued that her brother had coerced or intimidated their mother into signing it.
In rejecting those claims, however, a judge noted that witnesses had described the pensioner as a feisty and strong-willed woman who knew her own mind. The will writer who drafted the document had testified that she was emphatic that her daughter should not be amongst her beneficiaries.
The daughter did not claim that her mother lacked the mental capacity to make a valid will and her allegation that her brother had brought undue influence to bear was without foundation. The facts of the case emerged as the High Court rejected the daughter’s appeal against the judge’s ruling. The Court could find no fault in the judge’s assessment of the law or the factual evidence.