Saturday, 9 July 2016

Home made wills

In Rogers v Rogers Young [2016] WASC 208, Master Sanderson considered the proper construction of a ‘homemade’ will.  The judgment commences:
“On numerous occasions when dealing with so-called homemade wills, I have observed they are a curse.  Homemade wills which utilise what is sometimes known as a ‘will kit’ are not much better.  This case proves the point.  The disposition effected by the will is not complicated and no doubt the testator had clearly in mind what she intended to achieve.  But the way the will is drafted is difficult, and the parties have been put to the trouble and expense of coming to the court seeking directions as to its proper interpretation.  If the will had been drafted by a competent legal practitioner, this problem would not have arisen and the parties would have been spared a great deal of trouble and expense.”
The case is accessible here:$FILE/2016WASC0208.pdf
For some commentary, and mention of Re Crocombe [1949] SASC 302, see here:
Home made wills, even with the assistance of a so called "Will Kit", cause more litigation and grief than just about anything else. Steer away from them.
Wills are not as expensive as you might think if done through your local solicitor and you have the added peace of mind of knowing it's valid.

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