Clerical Errors In Wills

28th February 2020

Where there is a clear clerical error in a Will then the English Courts have confirmed that they have the power to overturn the contents of a Will in favour of what will be deemed the Deceased’s real intentions.

In the recent case of Kelly v Brennan the Deceased had intended that his estate be divided into six equal shares to be distributed amongst his siblings, with one sibling being deceased herself, her share was to go to her children.

Unfortunately, the Will writer made a clerical error and drafted the Will to divide the estate into ten equal shares.

Evidence was provided to the Court to show that this was not his intention and despite signing the Will, the Court were able to rule that the proposed division was a clerical error and not a deliberate act and as such they could amend the Will for the purposes of distributing the estate.

This case highlights the need to ensure that your Will is written by a professional and does reflect your wishes. A simple clerical error is capable of being rectified, but this can lead to the additional extra costs of putting the matter before the Court; which can also delay distribution of the estate.

Burtons runs a strict monitoring policy in connection with all our Wills, they are prepared by an experienced Will writer, you will review it and it will also be subject to our own strict internal monitoring procedures. If you are thinking of making a Will then please contact our Wills Team on 01892 824 577 or on