Will Dispute Update – Court considers Will challenge where couple sign wrong documents

4 February, 2014
by: Cripps Pemberton Greenish

The Supreme Court has recently given its decision in the Will dispute case of Marley v Rawlings and another.

The facts of this Will case are, fortunately, unusual. Maureen and Alfred Rawlings had prepared Wills in 1999 leaving their estates to Terry Marley, who was not a blood relative.

Unfortunately, due to an alleged oversight by a solicitor, they accidentally signed each other’s Will. The validity of Alfred Rawlings Will was then disputed following his death.

The lead judgment in the case was given by Lord Neuberger. Contrary to the decision of the lower Courts, he found that the disputed Wills should be treated in the same way as a commercial contract so that an obvious oversight should not be allowed to invalidate the testators’ wishes.

The decision of the Supreme Court was therefore to allow the appeal and hold that the Will be rectified so that it contained the typed parts of the Will signed by the late Mrs Rawlings in place of the typed parts of the will signed by Mr Rawlings.

To read the full judgment click here

For more information about our specialist Will dispute team please click here