The Kings Court Trust Blog

Keeping you up-to-date with Wills, probate and estate administration industry news

Virtual Will witnessing: Are we at risk of seeing more disputed Wills?

on Oct 14, 2020 11:05:18 AM By | Kings Court Trust | Blog Will Will Disputes COVID-19
In August, we published a blog on the changes being made to the Wills Act 1837, which prescribes how Wills are to be created in the UK. These changes are have now taken effect, so how do professionals feel about the amendment? They’re quite torn.
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Why George Michael’s Will may leave your clients with questions

The importance of creating a valid Will has been a popular topic of conversation recently. After details of George Michael’s Will came to light, some popular TV and radio shows including Loose Women, This Morning and The Chris Evans Breakfast Show, took the opportunity to discuss the topic.
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Could the rise in number of unmarried couples be linked to increased Will disputes?

The Office of National Statistics has reported that there has been a 33% rise in the number of unmarried couples since 2005.  Perhaps unsurprisingly, during this time there has also been a rise in the problems which result when an unmarried partner dies without a Will. 
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Majority of people unaware of risks posed by DIY Wills

According to a YouGov survey, 96% of people who prepare their own Will say they do not need external advice, with 21% stating that fears over the cost of professional advice prompted them to do it themselves.
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Charities to appeal decision in Ilott inheritance case

Three animal welfare charities have mounted an appeal to challenge a judge’s decision which allowed a woman’s estranged daughter to overturn her Will.
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Regulation of Will Writing Popular Amongst the Public

The public are in favour of Will writing becoming a regulated practice and are hoping the UK government will soon look to implement some form of regulation in the near future, according to the Law Gazette.
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The Most Peculiar Will Requests

Kings Court Trust firmly believes in the benefits of having a professional help draft a Will to ensure that everybody’s final wishes are made clear and carried out accurately. Drafting a Will and carefully considering what is to happen to our finances is not the most cheery of topics, but one that should be taken very seriously.
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How a Cheap Will Could Leave Your Family in Ruins

With recent research suggesting that half of the British public don’t have a Will, there is no doubt that many of us need to consider formally writing down our wishes on how our estate will be dealt with upon our death.  However, it is important to remember that while a cheap DIY kit or some scribbled notes could be legally binding, a Will that isn’t professionally drafted substantially increases the chances of it causing problems after your death.
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Fake Will Salesman Jailed

We recently came across a news article that highlights the importance of seeking trusted, professional advice when it comes to having your Will written. Samuel Eaton posed as a Wills specialist and salesman but has been jailed for swindling vulnerable pensioners out of their cash by selling them fake legal documents and trust deeds.   Eaton did this while trading under the guise of The Pensioners' Association and The Senior Citizens' Advice Centre, while his promotional leaflets and business cards implied that he was also connected to the charities Age UK, Macmillan Cancer Support and Sense. During one of his visits, he also played a DVD of a BBC documentary related to Wills and trusts to further convince his victims to part with their cash and add gravitas to his operation.   Judge Alan Conrad, QC, commented that Eaton had taken time to choose his specific victims carefully and that he was guilty of "serious offences involving a number of different victims, some particularly vulnerable."   The local authorities were alerted to Eaton's acts when the son of one of his victims contacted them after both he and his parents handed over £1,100. When examined, the documents created by Eaton were discovered to be inconsistent, ambiguous and full of errors.  Eaton has been sentenced to eight months in jail and has also been fined £3,950.   David Birrell, representing the prosecution, said: "It is clear that each of his victims believed that his operations were charitable, rather than commercial ventures.  There was a lack of professional diligence on the part of the defendant."   Kings Court Trust always recommends that individuals seek professional advice when it comes to preparing your Will, ideally from a firm that is a member of a reputable professional body such as the Institute of Professional Willwriters (IPW).  In doing so, you can be confident that you are dealing with a firm that abides by a code of conduct and ethics when dealing with customers.  For more information, visit
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