Complex probate involving 4 wills

13 Sep 2021 | Suzanna Baker

The case study relates to complex probate involving four separate wills. The deceased had made four wills in rapid succession, intending three of them to each deal with assets in a particular country. The last will had not been correctly drafted and inadvertently revoked the earlier wills, leaving the executor in a quandary as to how best to proceed and the beneficiaries of the earlier wills being deprived of what the deceased intended them to receive.

Osbornes Law acted for the executor of the last will. Our role was to determine the position of the English Will (which had been mistakenly revoked by the final Australian Will), and to deal with the estate administration here. This included determining the complex domicile position of the deceased and managing all advice received in the different jurisdictions as to how best to proceed and ensure protection for the executor, in light of possible contested probate claims by disappointed beneficiaries. The last will covers the worldwide assets of the deceased and creates significant IHT consequences and possible claims against the estate and for professional negligence against the Australian firm which drafted the final will from a number of large charities named as residuary beneficiaries in the earlier wills.

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