Validity of wills is a key requirement for a court-granted probate. But as our recent case shows, there may be circumstances where a will which may not appear valid, can still be granted probate.
The testator in this matter had been seriously ill and duly attended a solicitor to have a will prepared. The will was prepared by the solicitor in draft form and sent to the testator. The testator made a number of hand-written changes to the draft will, intending to return to the solicitor to have the changes made and to then sign the will. Unfortunately, the testator’s health rapidly deteriorated and she was unable to finalise her will before she died. In the days before her death, the testator verbally confirmed to her son that the draft will incorporate the handwritten changes reflected her wishes for her final will, however, the testator was simply too weak to be able to sign the will and have her signature properly witnessed.
We made successful submissions to the Court that the testator’s intentions were clear, despite the failure of the will to meet the legal formalities, and the Court made special orders giving effect to the testator’s intentions. Here are some kind words from the family:
“I employed Tanya Herbertson and her team at Snedden Hall & Gallop to finalise my late mother’s estate. Tanya was responsible for providing me with sound advice; managing my late mother’s financial estate while probate was being applied for; and drafting and filing the application for probate affidavits with the Supreme Court to officially recognise my late mother’s draft unsigned will, with her handwritten amendments, as her last will and testament. Due to Tanya and her team’s efforts, the Supreme Court was satisfied that there was sufficient evidence that my late mother’s draft unsigned will represented her last wishes even though she was not able to sign it and have her signature witnessed prior to her passing away. During the entire process, Tanya and her team always acted professionally and compassionately. I highly recommend Snedden Hall & Gallop to anyone requiring assistance in wills and estate matters.”
Anonymous (Kingston, ACT).
If Tanya and her team can help, you, please contact us today!