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Does a NEW will, need to be signed?

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  • 21-08-2022 8:21pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 819 ✭✭✭


    Imagine a situation where a married man, no kids, makes a will. He leaves whatever to his wife, whatever to his nephews and something to his brother/sister.

    The man is dying of cancer and draws up a new will. But before he gets to sign it, he dies. The new will simply says give everything to my wife.

    Is this a feasable situation or is the new will unenforcable.

    Any opinions?

    Thanks



Comments

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 67,630 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011


    an unsigned (and indeed unwitnessed) will isn't valid. If there's a prior will, it remains valid.



  • Registered Users Posts: 10,432 ✭✭✭✭Jim_Hodge


    Signing your will

    You have to sign your will in the presence of 2 witnesses. They have to sign the will to attest (witness) that you have signed the will.

    If you are unable to sign your will because you cannot write, you can make a mark that should be witnessed like a signature.

    If you are physically disabled and are unable to sign or mark your will, you can direct an agent or representative to sign your will for you. Your agent must sign the will in your presence and on your direction and your two witnesses must be present.



  • Registered Users Posts: 25,326 ✭✭✭✭coylemj


    I realise that the person is now dead but as this is (hypothetically) a hypothetical situation...

    If the previous will was the only one in existence and if the logistics of signing a new will and getting it witnessed are a problem, an option for him would be to get the old will and destroy it. Then, with a spouse and no children, his wife will inherit his entire estate under the rules of intestacy.



  • Registered Users Posts: 819 ✭✭✭mondeoman72


    This original will we are hypothetically taking about, leaves things to close relatives, the same relatives that know all about the new will. I am thinking they could decline any inheritance, leaving a situation where the spirit of the new will will trigger, but sadly, people have been known to change their tunes when money is involved.

    Time will tell



  • Registered Users Posts: 225 ✭✭pauly58


    Everything will go to the wife, will or no will.



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  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 67,630 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011


    Not if there's a will not giving her everything. She is only automatically entitled to half (if there are no descendents) at most

    In this situation, the only valid will gives some to others.



  • Registered Users Posts: 10,432 ✭✭✭✭Jim_Hodge


    Not true. If there is a valid will a spouse is entitled to half the estate only, if the will bequeaths a portion to others.



  • Registered Users Posts: 225 ✭✭pauly58


    Apologies lads, I meant to say if there was no will.



  • Registered Users Posts: 25,326 ✭✭✭✭coylemj


    I think you have completely unrealistic expectations here, especially talking about 'the spirit of the new will'. There is no 'new will', because it is not a will at all.

    You're speculating as to whether people will decline an inheritance based on an unsigned piece of paper. If I was named as a beneficiary in the original will and someone showed me the new will that piece of paper, my reaction would be: 'is this a windup?'.



  • Registered Users Posts: 819 ✭✭✭mondeoman72


    Looking at it like that, you have in point, but in hypothetical reality, the people involved would be brother, and his kids. They hypothetically were with him when he died and know his wishes.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,432 ✭✭✭✭Jim_Hodge


    That's all meaningless, hypothetically or not. There is a valid will in place.



  • Registered Users Posts: 25,326 ✭✭✭✭coylemj


    Then we’re into the territory of moral pressure, based on the fact that they’re aware of the man’s wishes, even if those couldn’t be formalised into a new will. Legally, there is no issue here as there is a valid will in place. It’s up to the sibling and nephews if they want to disclaim their inheritance.



  • Registered Users Posts: 819 ✭✭✭mondeoman72


    I agree with this completely. Hopefully any issue would be sorted amicably. But when some people see pound signs.....

    Or maybe the signed will may be lost



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