An unusual request highlights the importance of obtaining professional advice when drafting Wills. The gentleman concerned is not our client and is still alive.

On first consideration, Mr X's generous decision to leave one third of his estate equally among everyone who attends his funeral sounds a wonderful surprise for them. However, such a clause could fail for uncertainty.

Mr X's request as worded by him has many uncertainties, which could cause it to be invalid, such as:-

  • Would the vicar or funeral directors be entitled to a share?
  • What if an individual arrives late to the funeral or leaves early?
  • Is 'funeral' the church service? or the interment? or funeral tea?
  • What if illness, or snow, prevents attendance?
  • How will attendance be recorded (i.e. must they sign the Condolences Book and add their address)?

There is a solution: a discretionary trust in the Will would build in the flexibility needed to make his Will more certain and practical to administer.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.