A woman who changed her will but didn’t take professional advice caused unexpected problems for her family recently when they had to go to court to work out what the codicil she added meant.
She and her second husband made identical wills which provided that their own interest in their house passed to their own children and the rest of their estate was divided between their children and stepchildren equally.
When she inherited money from her family, she added a codicil to her will saying that if she predeceased her second husband, that money ‘should be divided equally between my grandchildren’.
Her husband predeceased her. When she died, the court had to decide the meaning of the codicil. Strictly, the inherited money would pass to her children and stepchildren but the clear intention of the codicil was to pass the inherited money to her grandchildren.
After hearing evidence from the family that her intention was for her grandchildren to inherit the money, that was the ruling of the court.