Priviledge Wills

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The present scenario raises the issue of whether the document presented to Monica by the airline agent is valid as a Will.

Based on the facts present, it is established that Bertram wrote on a piece of paper “All my worldly possessions I leave for my girlfriend Monica”. The questions to be asked are whether Bertram by his conduct is a Testator, What was his intention and how did he intend to communicate his wishes?

A Will may be defined as a “revocable declaration of intention in prescribed form of the expression of the person making it of matters, which he intends to take effect only at his death”. It has also been described as the sum total of the Testator’s wishes which he intends to take effect on his death. A Testator is a person who makes and executes a valid will and the main purpose for making a Will is usually to dispose of property whether real or personal.

In addition, for a Will to be valid, the Will must be in prescribed form. The Succession Act Chapter 249 s. 61 of the Laws of Barbados provides that no will is valid unless, it is in written form, it is signed at the foot or end by the Testator or by someone at his direction and in his presence, the signature of the Testator must be made or acknowledged in the presence of at least two persons.

There are several types of Wills such as: Conditional Wills, Joint Wills, Mutual Wills, Privileged Wills or Holograph Wills.

On analysing the facts as presented and applying the above stated legal principles it is submitted that the document Bertram wrote would likely be construed as a Privileged Will. Monica is advised that with Privileged Wills the law makes provision for such, in certain exceptional cases where a person is allowed to make a Will without complying with the legal formalities. The exceptional circumstances appear to be where the Testator is in grave danger, which increases the desire to make a Will and where he is without the normal means of consultation before making his...
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