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How To Rectify Mistakes in a Will

How To Rectify Mistakes in a Will

Can you fix a mistake in a will after someone has died? Whether an error has been made or something is missing, the good news is that there are ways to fix these mistakes and make sure the person's true wishes are followed under The Succession (Scotland) Act 2016.

Rectifying a Will means changing it to match what the testator (a person who has created and executed a Will) really wanted. This happens when there is evidence that the Will does not show their true wishes, either because of mistakes, oversight, or a change of wishes. Evidence can include written notes or communications from the testator, witness statements, or other relevant documentation.

Find out about creating and amending a Will here.

To proceed with rectifying a Will, there are certain statutory requirements to be met before court proceedings are intimated:

1. The testator who has died needs to have died domiciled in Scotland;

2. The Will cannot have been drafted by the testator but drafted on the testator's instructions; and

3. Proceedings need to be made within 6 months of date of death or if Confirmation (Probate) has been granted within 6 months of its granting. The court can consider accepting applications outside this time period.

How do you rectify a will in Scotland?

To initiate the rectification process, interested parties (such as beneficiaries or executors) can file a petition with the court seeking to rectify the Will. The petition should outline the specific errors or omissions in the Will and provide evidence supporting the need for rectification.

Upon receiving the petition, the court will review the evidence presented and determine whether there are grounds for rectification.

In Scotland, the court has the authority to rectify a Will if it is satisfied that there is clear and convincing evidence that the Will does not reflect the testator's true intentions due to a mistake, such as a clerical error or a failure to understand the testator's instructions.

If the court decides that rectification is appropriate, it will issue an order specifying the corrections to be made to the Will. These corrections are aimed at bringing the Will into alignment with the testator's true intentions.

Once the court order is issued, the Will is officially rectified, and the corrections become legally binding.

It is important to note that the rectification process is subject to strict legal requirements and must be carried out in accordance with the provisions of The Succession (Scotland) Act 2016.

Why do people rectify wills?

Rectifying a Will is essential in safeguarding the true intentions of the testator and ensuring a smooth transition of assets according to their wishes.

People rectify wills to correct mistakes or omissions that may lead to misunderstandings or disputes among beneficiaries.

By rectifying a Will, individuals can prevent legal challenges, protect the integrity of their estate distribution, and provide clarity and peace of mind for family and loved ones.

If you need to fix a mistake in a Will, make sure to talk to a professional who can guide you through the process.

Remember, this article has general information and is not legal advice. If you have specific questions, get in touch with our expert team at Burnett & Reid.

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