Primarius Blog - Office story - Is it a valid will?

Muriel Oliver
Case Study | 13 Jul 2021

Some years ago, I was approached by a client to witness his handwritten will. 

I explained to him carefully that:

  1. Role of witness: as a witness, I was not required to read the will and just reading it (as his accountant) did not add any value to the document
  2. Legal practitioner input: I advised him to receive input and assistance from a lawyer as only those holding a "legal practitioners' certificate" may prepare wills
  3. Validity: he asked if it was valid and I said that it may be "valid" in that it is authentic and signed by him, but whether it is relevant and appropriate to his circumstances is a question for a lawyer.

He advised me that he understood the details, his affairs were simple, and he just wanted me to witness it, which I did. A few months later he died whilst working offshore and the will was produced. Before anyone could say "Jiminy Cricket" his second wife and the children from his first marriage were in court fighting over the assets.  

This is one of the reasons we facilitate wills for our clients using the services of specialist Estate Planning Lawyers. Read more about how and why we work with them to get the best results for you in relation to your wills and estate planning.


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