Statutory Wills case study: Mavis' story
Mavis and Jack were married for over 60 years. They didn’t have any children together but stayed in touch with various nieces, nephews and cousins. Jack passed away in 2012. After his death it became clear that Mavis was struggling to live at home on her own and when she had a stroke she needed to go into long term care. She also lost the capacity to sign her own Will.
When Mavis went into care there was one particular nephew called Jonathan who checked in on her at least once per week to make sure that she had everything that she needed and that she was as comfortable as possible. Jonathan had been appointed as Mavis's attorney. He could see that Mavis's family home needed to be sold and when clearing the property he came across a copy of Mavis's Will. The Will was 15 years old and named some family members as beneficiaries who Mavis has had little or no contact with for the last 10 years or so. From letters stored with the Will he could see that Mavis had meant to update her Will but hadn’t got round to doing so before she had the stroke.
Jonathan contacted Wrigleys to ask if there was anything we could do to help. We made an application to the Court of Protection asking for Jonathan to be given the authority to sign a new Will for Mavis. The Court was happy that the Will was in Mavis's best interests. The gifts to the distant family members who hadn’t been in contact with Mavis over more recent years were significantly reduced and Jonathan became the main beneficiary under the Will. The Court agreed to do this as they could see that over the years Jonathan was the one who had maintained contact with Mavis and provided emotional and practical support to her.
The Court of Protection made an Order that the costs of the Statutory Will were to be paid for out of Mavis's money, not Jonathan's.