Where there is a will, there may be a (costly) way — family disputes over wills in Bermuda

By John Patton

Family disputes over the provisions of a will are a relatively common occurrence in Bermuda courts.

Occasionally, such disputes arise because of vague wording in the will document; imprecise drafting can raise questions as to the identity of the beneficiaries (persons benefiting under a will), the division of assets left to beneficiaries, the extent of the estate left by the testator (the person making the will) and so on. Other procedural gaffes may even jeopardise the validity of the will as a legal instrument. 

Recent English case law underscores the hazards of such administrative oversight. In one instance, Marley v Rawlings, the lawyer drafted a pair of short and virtually identical wills for his clients, an elderly couple…

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