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  • FIRST POST
    • ipri
    • By ipri 11th Feb 18, 1:55 PM
    • 646Posts
    • 42Thanks
    ipri
    Changes to ill?
    • #1
    • 11th Feb 18, 1:55 PM
    Changes to ill? 11th Feb 18 at 1:55 PM
    Hi,
    Am I right to think that changes to a will must involve all the executors? My wife is joint Ex. with her brother. He says that another sibling has been written out of the will whilst Mother was mentally fit and well. If this is true, surely my wife should have been informed. thanks.


    Ps Will!
Page 1
    • noh
    • By noh 11th Feb 18, 2:07 PM
    • 5,231 Posts
    • 3,531 Thanks
    noh
    • #2
    • 11th Feb 18, 2:07 PM
    • #2
    • 11th Feb 18, 2:07 PM
    No. You are incorrect.
    A testator can change the contents of their will, or more likely, write a new one without consultation with the executors.
    Indeed they dont even have to inform the executors that they have been appointed although it would be sensible to do so.
    • Margot123
    • By Margot123 11th Feb 18, 2:26 PM
    • 805 Posts
    • 818 Thanks
    Margot123
    • #3
    • 11th Feb 18, 2:26 PM
    • #3
    • 11th Feb 18, 2:26 PM
    No one other than the testator and the person drawing up the will (they may be the same person) is entitled to read it until it has been proven via Probate by the named executor(s). Although the named executors obviously can after locating the will!

    The witnesses are only witnesses to the signature and so even they are not entitled to read the contents.

    This is to ensure that there are no repercussions for the testator during their lifetime should they write someone out of their will, or not be favourable to a particular individual.
    • dresdendave
    • By dresdendave 11th Feb 18, 2:26 PM
    • 750 Posts
    • 926 Thanks
    dresdendave
    • #4
    • 11th Feb 18, 2:26 PM
    • #4
    • 11th Feb 18, 2:26 PM
    My understanding is that an executor's role is to administer the estate (exactly) as per the instructions in the will. They are not involved with the writing of the will and need not be told anything about it's contents.
    • ipri
    • By ipri 11th Feb 18, 2:40 PM
    • 646 Posts
    • 42 Thanks
    ipri
    • #5
    • 11th Feb 18, 2:40 PM
    • #5
    • 11th Feb 18, 2:40 PM
    Very interesting. What about possible coercion? Also, how do successful challenges to wills happen?
    • Margot123
    • By Margot123 11th Feb 18, 2:52 PM
    • 805 Posts
    • 818 Thanks
    Margot123
    • #6
    • 11th Feb 18, 2:52 PM
    • #6
    • 11th Feb 18, 2:52 PM
    Very interesting. What about possible coercion? Also, how do successful challenges to wills happen?
    Originally posted by ipri
    If the testator is deemed to be of 'sound mind' at the time of writing the will, the matter of coercion or undue influence would be nearly impossible to prove.
    Even someone with dementia cannot be assumed to be of unsound mind.

    The weight of evidence in proving any of the above would need expert, professional accounts etc.

    This is why challenges to wills are very rarely successful, and indeed are a very costly undertaking.
    • Keep pedalling
    • By Keep pedalling 11th Feb 18, 3:02 PM
    • 4,995 Posts
    • 5,559 Thanks
    Keep pedalling
    • #7
    • 11th Feb 18, 3:02 PM
    • #7
    • 11th Feb 18, 3:02 PM
    As an executor I certainly would not want to be hit with the discovery that my mother or father had disinherited one of my siblings when I went to administer the estate. As a matter of curtesy I would have hoped the parent would have not only told me that they had changed the will but explained the reasoning behind it as well.
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 11th Feb 18, 3:19 PM
    • 4,147 Posts
    • 3,390 Thanks
    Yorkshireman99
    • #8
    • 11th Feb 18, 3:19 PM
    • #8
    • 11th Feb 18, 3:19 PM
    Very interesting. What about possible coercion? Also, how do successful challenges to wills happen?
    Originally posted by ipri
    Very rarely! The most common cause is if someone financially dependent is omitted. No challenge is easy or cheap.
    • dresdendave
    • By dresdendave 12th Feb 18, 4:59 PM
    • 750 Posts
    • 926 Thanks
    dresdendave
    • #9
    • 12th Feb 18, 4:59 PM
    • #9
    • 12th Feb 18, 4:59 PM
    As an executor I certainly would not want to be hit with the discovery that my mother or father had disinherited one of my siblings when I went to administer the estate. As a matter of curtesy I would have hoped the parent would have not only told me that they had changed the will but explained the reasoning behind it as well.
    Originally posted by Keep pedalling
    I agree that it would be callous of the testator to put an executor in such a position. Even if they didn't feel comfortable forewarning them at least they could leave a letter explaining their actions to be read upon their death.

    However the OP's question related to whether the testator was obliged to consult and/or inform the executor about such issues, clearly legally that is not the case.
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 14th Feb 18, 2:25 PM
    • 6,487 Posts
    • 8,418 Thanks
    TBagpuss
    As an executor I certainly would not want to be hit with the discovery that my mother or father had disinherited one of my siblings when I went to administer the estate. As a matter of curtesy I would have hoped the parent would have not only told me that they had changed the will but explained the reasoning behind it as well.
    Originally posted by Keep pedalling
    I agree that it is an awkward thing to leave your executors to deal with, without warning, but you are right that that is a matter of courtesy only, but there is no legal obligation.

    OP, do you know whether your wife's mum saw a solicitor to change her will? If she was taking one sibling out, a solicitor would normally keep detailed notes as to the reason for the decision, in order to reduce as far as possible the risk of (successful) challenges to the will, but you MIL could have made the change herself, if she wanted.

    If she did change it without getting advice, it may create issues if she did not then properly execute the new or changed will, and it may leave it open to challenge by the person excluded, if she did't also leave notes explaining.

    Has your MIL now lost capacity, or is there any chance your wife could talk to her directly about this?
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