fbpx

Mutual Will Voids Thirteen Later Wills

11th October 2017 By Arman Khosravi

Although a worryingly high proportion of the population never make a will, a fairly large number of those who do make more than one. It is sensible to make a new will or add codicils to an existing will if your circumstances change significantly. However, some people do take the process to extremes, as is evidenced by a case involving the estate of a woman who made 13 different wills between 2004 and 2014.

Her final will was admitted to probate in 2016 and its validity was challenged by her two daughters, who each stood to inherit £100,000 more under a will she had made in 2000 than they would under her final will.

The challenge was made on the basis that the deceased woman and her late husband had created ‘mutual wills’ in 2000. Mutual wills create a binding agreement between two or more people which prevents the surviving party/parties from disposing of the estate in a different way.

As the promise made is binding, a subsequent will cannot revoke it. In the case in point, the judge found that the wills were mutual wills and all of the subsequent wills were therefore void.

The practical issue for a survivor who has entered into a mutual will and wishes to change the way their assets are distributed is that they will need to address this whilst alive, as the mutual will determines the distribution of the estate assets on the death of the surviving party to the agreement.

Source: Concious

Latest News

Challenge to Will's Validity Rejected by High Court

12th April, 2024 By

The best way to ensure your assets will be distributed as you wish is to have your will professionally drafted by a qualified solicitor. In a recent case, a challenge to the validity of an elderly man's will was dismissed by the High Court. The man had previously made a will in 2011, leaving most of his estate equally to his three children. In 2018, by which time one of his sons had predeceased him, he made a further will, leaving the residue of his estate to his other son...

Defiance of Family Court Orders Will Always End Badly

10th April, 2024 By

Custodial sentences very rarely come into play in the family courts. Where there have been repeated breaches of court orders, however, judges may have little choice but to clamp down. This was illustrated in the High Court during committal proceedings that stemmed from a child custody dispute. The background to the case involved contested proceedings between the father and mother of a young child. These concluded with a court order establishing that the child – a daughter – would live with the mother. Three months later the daughter travelled with...

Claim for SDLT Relief on Annex Unsuccessful

8th April, 2024 By

When buying a property consisting of more than one residence, it may be possible to claim multiple dwellings relief (MDR) against Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). However, there are certain conditions that must be met for an MDR claim to succeed, as a recent case illustrates. A property was purchased for £1.8 million. Prior to the purchase, the buyer had agreed with the seller that he would be allowed to carry out works to construct a self-contained annex at the property. The buyer's SDLT return included a claim for MDR...

Divorce – Alleged Bigamy Raised in Financial Remedies Dispute

5th April, 2024 By

The issue of bigamy and its potential impact on a person's ability to seek financial remedies in a divorce came under the legal spotlight recently. A husband made an application to strike out his wife's financial remedies claim on the basis that she had committed bigamy and deceived him into a marriage when she knew she was not free to marry. This deceit, he claimed, was so egregious that, as a matter of public policy, she should be debarred from pursuing any claim for financial remedies against him. The husband based...