When a loved one passes away unexpectedly, the shock can be made worse by finding out that the deceased also had made a new will totally contrary to their former will.
Sometimes clients will ask me if it is legal for their loved one to make a new will, cutting out family members, or naming a new executor, all without notifying the prior executor or beneficiaries?
The answer is that yes, a person is entitled to make as many wills as they want, provided they have capacity. Moreover, there is no law requiring a will-maker to notify their prior executor, or their affected beneficiaries.
However, if you are making a new will, it is good advice to notify all of your affected beneficiaries or prior executor. Explaining what your wishes are during your lifetime, can better avoid the chance that they are later surprised by your new will, or suspicious of what motivated it.
James Steele’s preferred practise area is estate litigation, including will challenges, executor disputes, power of attorney issues, etc. Contact James Steele at 1-306-933-1338 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The above is for general information only. Parties should always seek legal advice prior to taking action in specific situations.