Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Full names in wills – do the right thing**

Over the last few days, we have had some difficulties in progressing with the administration of an estate for a client where the deceased will did not set out his full name.

Although it sounds like a very pedantic issue, the courts are reluctant to allow wills to be granted probate unless there is complete certainty around a person’s name.

Some of the issues that need to be considered in this regard include:

1) If there is a nickname that someone uses all the time, this should ideally be mentioned in the will.

2) Ideally, the name in the will should exactly match government records (for example, on the birth certificate or marriage certificate for the will maker, and thus in turn, what the death certificate will state).

3) To the extent there is any inconsistency between government records, this should ideally be explained or clarified in the will itself.

4) If the government records do not match the will and this is known at the time of lodging probate, look to explain the inconsistencies proactively with the court when making the application.

** for the trainspotters the title of the post today is riffed from the late 1980’s and ‘Redhead Kingpin