Will Writer File Notes Uphold Will in Court


Philip Price’s contested will highlights the critical role meticulous note-taking by the will writer plays. In 2019, just three weeks prior to his passing at the age of 74, Philip Price prepared a will for his £808,000 estate. Despite battling severe illnesses and recent hospitalisation, Price executed a handwritten will with the assistance of Sian Morris, a seasoned senior solicitor.


The Terms of The Will & Challenge


The will, leaving Price’s entire estate to his longtime friend Vanessa Davies, faced a challenge from Barbara Watts, who claimed to be Price’s half-sister. Watts contested the validity of the will, alleging Price lacked testamentary capacity or was unaware of its contents during its execution.


Testamentary Capacity


Crucially, Morris’ comprehensive notes on Price’s mental state and deliberations played a pivotal role in the court’s decision. Despite initial uncertainty regarding the distribution of his estate, Morris’s detailed record-keeping demonstrated Price’s active involvement and understanding of the will’s provisions. This meticulous documentation served as a testament to Price’s testamentary capacity and comprehension, effectively countering Watts’ assertions.


Moreover, expert psychiatric testimonies were presented, with Watts’ expert suggesting the possibility of delirium affecting Price’s capacity. However, Morris’s thorough documentation, alongside consistent testimonies from Price’s acquaintances attesting to his mental acuity, swayed the court in favour of upholding the will.


The Ruling


Judge Jarman HHJ’s ruling underscored the importance of accurate note-taking in the face of legal challenges. Morris’ meticulous records not only provided insight into Price’s mental state but also served as invaluable evidence in validating the will’s authenticity. The court’s decision to admit the will to probate and dismiss Watts’ objection reaffirms the significance of comprehensive documentation in safeguarding testamentary intentions.


In essence, the case of Philip Price exemplifies how detailed note-taking by a skilled will writer can uphold the wishes of the testator and protect the integrity of the testamentary process. It serves as a compelling reminder of the vital role played by thorough documentation in navigating legal disputes surrounding wills and estates.


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