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Wills Through The Ages

Over the centuries Wills have been the cause of family feud, fraud and any number of crimes from forgery to murder. They have also made lawyers very rich sorting out the mess. That is why today our laws are very rigid and complex in relation to Wills.

Incidentally, laws vary from country to country, so if you have property in more than one country, it is wise to make sure you have a Will in each country to deal with the property in accordance with local law.

Many years ago, Wills were simply deathbed statements made in confidence to the priest. It is worth noting that the church seemed to inherit a strangely large proportion of estates in those days! Eventually two witnesses were required to hear the deathbed statement, and the church became poorer. Verbal 'Wills', even when witnessed, were still open to abuse or argument, so it became compulsory for the Will to be written down and witnessed by two people. Nowadays the witnesses must not be beneficiaries under the Will.

Even now, with all the laws and safeguards, Wills are still successfully contested in the Courts. This can come about if a Will, maybe written many years ago, does not take into account things that have happened since which 'might' have caused the Will to be written differently. The argument is that if the deceased could be brought back to life, he or she would have changed the Will to take the events into account. Sometimes this argument works, sometimes not, but it makes the point that it is important to review your Will regularly. The argument that a Will represents the true wishes of the deceased is far stronger if the Will was made or reviewed a few years prior to death than if it was made many years ago when the family membership may have been very different.

However Do Not Worry -
If You Do Not Have a Written Will,
The State Has One For You -
It will Not Be The One You Want
and its Certain Not to Reflect Your Wishes

"You made a difficult job very easy for us"

Mr & Mrs Elkins of Farnborough

"We are very happy with your service and would be glad to recommend you to other people"

Mr & Mrs Mills of Bagshot