Legacy Bulletin - October 2020

New legislation for video witnessing of Wills

Recent changes in the law mean that it is now possible for a Will witnessed by video technology to be legally valid. Under section 9 of the Wills Act 1837 a will must be signed by the testator ‘in the presence of’ two witnesses. New legislation, which came into force on 28 September, extends the definition of ‘in the presence of’ to include ‘video conferencing or other visual transmission'.

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Top charities found to be making basic mistakes in legacy communications

Earlier this year, Legacy Foresight conducted a project in partnership with Legacy Voice which was aptly named Legacy Inspire. As part of this project, a mystery shop exercise was carried out in order to see how well the top 50 legacy charities performed when responding to an initial enquiry from a potential legacy donor seeking information on leaving a gift in their Will.

The project analysed both the legacy brochures and supporter experience, looking at the timing of responses, accuracy and the quality of communications. The findings were quite revealing.

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Disinheriting family members and testamentary capacity - John Clitheroe v Susan Bond [2020] EWHC 1185 (Ch)

In England and Wales, the principle of testamentary freedom means an individual can leave his/her assets in a Will to whomever he/she wishes and disinherit those who might expect to inherit. However, this is subject to potential challenge, including a claim that the individual did not have testamentary capacity to execute a Will(s). The following is an example of such a case.

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Meet the Team: Tim Rutherford

Tim is a Partner and Head of the firm’s Charity & Social Enterprise Sector Group. He specialises in advising on charity law, governance and related issues and takes great pride in ensuring that legacies are used in the manner intended. At weekends he can be found cheering on his son’s football team, and pounding the pavements as he prepares for next year’s Bath Half Marathon.

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The law and practice referred to in this article or webinar has been paraphrased or summarised. It might not be up-to-date with changes in the law and we do not guarantee the accuracy of any information provided at the time of reading. It should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice in relation to a specific set of circumstances.

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