In Rogers v Rogers Young (2016) WASC 208, Master Sanderson considered the proper construction of a ‘homemade’ will.
The judgement commences:
“On numerous occasions when dealing with so-called homemade wills, I have observed they are a curse. Homemade wills which utilise what is sometimes known as a ‘will kit’ are not much better. This case proves the point. The disposition effected by the will is not complicated and no doubt the testator had clearly in mind what she intended to achieve. But the way the will is drafted is difficult and the parties have been put to the trouble and expense of coming to the court seeking directions as to its proper interpretation. If the will had been drafted by a competent legal practitioner, this problem would not have arisen and the parties would have been spared a great deal of trouble and expense.”
A further useful authority, in respect of the construction of wills that have been prepared by a testator without professional knowledge or assistance, is Re Crocombe (1949) SASR 302, in which Mayo J summarised the following principles:
It may be then that using a homemade will is false economy and may not achieve the intended purpose, or if it does it may come at a cost which otherwise might have been avoided. In order to get it right, it is suggested that you see your solicitor.
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