Will Dispute – Ahluwalia v Singh, Singh-Judge, Ahluwalia, Kaur & Walia [2011] 108 (38) LSG 18

9 December, 2011
by: Cripps Pemberton Greenish
In this case it was held that a Will was invalid where evidence was produced that was sufficient to rebut the presumption of due execution notwithstanding that the witnesses signatures appeared with an attestation clause which, on the face of it, appeared valid. 
 
The claimant B, was the daughter of the deceased (S). 
 
B sought revocation of the grant of probate and pronouncement of its invalidity. 
 
S’s Will split his estate between his 3 sons.  If found invalid his estate would be split between his 6 children equally.
 
B’s claim was that the witnesses to the Will were not both present at the time the Will was executed. W1 was S’s neighbour.  W2 was a traditional Sikh and unknown to W1. W2 confirmed no other person was present when he signed the Will as a witness. W1 said he had never spoken to or met W2. 
 
Despite W1 later saying that B had pressurised him to make his statement he confirmed he could not recall the circumstances of this signing. 
 

It was held that B had satisfied the evidential burden and that it was probable the witnesses had signed separately, particularly given that the court believed W1 would have recalled meeting W2 a traditional Sikh with turban and full beard.  W1 had stated that he had never met a traditional Sikh before.

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