Interpreting a will can be complicated, particularly if it was made some time ago or has been handwritten. Our specialist team can help.
As an executor, personal representative or trustee, it is vital that you understand the content of the will you are dealing with. It is not uncommon for wills to contain complex trusts which leave a person’s estate to be looked after by trustees or for handwritten wills to fail to comply with the legal requirements.
Wills are not always drafted correctly and so difficulties can arise in interpreting a will, such as:
- The person’s intentions may not be clearly conveyed
- The will is overly complex
- It has been poorly drafted
- There are mistakes in the will
- The assets mentioned in the will are no longer available
As an executor, you are required to distribute an estate in accordance with a person’s wishes as contained within their last valid will.
How we can help you
Our lawyers can:
- Help you understand the content a will
- Help you understand your role and duties as an executor/personal representative
- Advise you on the procedural steps to be taken to confirm the correct distribution to be made
- Obtain an Order from the Court to enable a distribution to be made when the content of a will cannot be interpreted, when there are minor beneficiaries, and/or when the beneficiaries do not all agree to the proposed distribution
- Advise you on the particular difficulties where there are children or people unable to understand the situation
- Advise you on the procedural steps and make any necessary application to Court/obtain an Order from the Court on your behalf
- Interpreting a handwritten homemade will
- Advising on a will which did not clearly set out the deceased’s wishes
- Advising on the risks of acting as an executor on a will that appears to have been amended after it had been signed
- Advising trustees on the interpretation of a will prepared in the early 1900s