A member asked over 7 years ago

Disputing a Will

Mum passed away on March 19 2017 but left an amendment to her will last July handwritten, signed & witnessed but was never contacted to sign a typed up one.
The Solicitor's reason is he was waiting to see if her then mild dementia would deteriorate. Dementia doen't improve, is this acceptable for him to not contact her to formalise the amendment in 8 months with an elderly person who lives locally?
Will this amended one be valid? Myself and two other benefactors are all part pensioners & can't afford exorbitant solicitor's fees each question we have.
Would you please advise the most economical way us all to make an official Deed of Family Agreement?

Law Advisor Research Team
Researchers at LawAdvisor

Hi there. In NSW, to validly alter a will, a person must execute a separate document called a ‘codicil’. This document can be handwritten or typed. To be legally valid, the codicil must be executed in the same way as a will. This means it must be signed by the will-maker and witnessed by at least two other people. It is also important that a codicil refers to the correct version of the original will (i.e. the codicil should refer to the date of the latest will prepared by the will-maker). In your case, the separate handwritten document may be a codicil (and therefore a valid amendment to your mother’s will) if it was signed by her and witnessed by at least two other people. It does not matter that the document is handwritten.

A Deed of Family Agreement (also known as a Deed of Family Arrangement, or Variation) is a legal document that records the distribution of a deceased person’s estate in a way that is different to the terms of the will. For example, the beneficiaries of a will may want to rearrange the allocation of benefits between themselves for tax reasons. The most efficient way to create and execute a Deed is to consult a wills and estate lawyer. Before engaging a solicitor, you should meet with all the other beneficiaries and reach an agreement on the desired redistribution of the estate.

Suggested way forward

To ensure the will is validly altered and to seek advice and prepare a Deed of Family Agreement, you should speak to a wills and estate lawyer. By pressing the “Consult a Lawyer” button, LawAdvisor can help you search for experienced lawyers and obtain fee proposals for their services. Costs for legal advice and representation will vary between providers based on experience and the scope of services.

Answered over 7 years ago   Legal disclaimer


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