Informal Wills

It is not uncommon for a person to make a “do it yourself” will without knowing or complying with the laws to make a formal will. This could be done by way of a letter, audio tape, video or on a computer.

The legal consequences of this document may be significant if it overrides an earlier will distributing the estate in a different way.

The Succession Act allows the Court to dispense with the formal requirements for the execution, alteration or revocation of wills. Section 8 applies to a document or part of a document that:

(a) Purports to state the testamentary intentions of the deceased, and
(b) Has not been executed in accordance with the legislation.
The document, or part of the document, shall form the deceased person’s will if the Court is satisfied that the person intended it to form his or her will. It may also operate to alter or revoke a previous will.

If you locate a document that you suspect could be a will then you should bring it to Willis & Bowring for specialist advice.