Remember to double-check the Will you’re signing
A Last Will and Testament is a crucial legal document that ensures your final wishes are carried out after your passing. Creating a legally valid Will can provide peace of mind and protect your loved ones during a difficult time. It is assumed that when you go through a lawyer, that he or she would double-check the Last Will and Testament that he or she is signing as a witness.
The process of signing your Will is critical to its validity. In most jurisdictions, you’ll need to sign the document in the presence of witnesses. Typically, two or more witnesses who are not beneficiaries or spouses of beneficiaries are required to witness your signature. Their presence confirms that you were of sound mind and not under any duress when signing the Will.
A lawyer should obviously know this.
How was something as basic as signing a Last Will (no doubt in front of witnesses) overlooked by one particular lawyer?
In 2011, a lawyer made this very mistake when a couple visited him to create their Last Wills. They wanted their children to be taken care of, in the event anything happened to either of them.
When the mother died in 2022, the Will she had created was declared invalid. The Will was lacking ONE signature from ONE if the witnesses — the lawyer in question who drew up the couple’s Last Wills. The lawyer had his law clerk present, the couple was present, and he was present. How was it that no one took the time to double-check something as important as a Last Will and Testament?
It would have taken two seconds to double-check the Will in question.
This caused a bit of chaos for the family in question. The son and daughter were both named as co-executors in the late mother’s (invalid) Last Will and Testament.
You can read more about this case, here.