Chances are you wont have heard about these Will Writing facts but in this short article we’re going...

Chances are you wont have heard about these Will Writing facts but in this short article we’re going to share some of our favourites with you.

The Longest Will Ever Written: In the annals of will writing, one name stands out for its sheer length and complexity – Frederica Evelyn Stilwell Cook. This Englishwoman holds the record for creating the longest Will ever documented. In 1913, Cook wrote a will that spanned an astonishing 1,066 pages. Her Will contained highly detailed instructions about her estate, with numerous bequests, trusts, and conditions. It took 95 solicitors nearly seven years to settle her estate, highlighting the importance of concise and clear will drafting.

Not always advisable to have such a lengthy document. In reality most Wills are less than 20 pages, depending on the complexity and it takes on average a year for probate.

The Shortest Will Ever Written: On the opposite end of the spectrum, there is the case of Karl Tausch, a German man who holds the record for the shortest will ever written. His will, which was recognised by German authorities, simply stated, “Vse ženi” in Czech, which translates to “Everything to wife” in English. While brevity is often appreciated, this extreme example serves as a reminder that wills should be clear and unambiguous to prevent potential disputes.

At Soteria Planning we’re big fans of creating documents which are tailored to the needs of clients. It’s also important to remember that different jurisdictions have different rules when it comes to estate planning. In England and Wales we draft documents in accordance with The Wills Act 1837.

A Horror Story About Not Having a Will: The tale of Howard Hughes, the eccentric American billionaire, serves as a cautionary tale for anyone contemplating the importance of creating a Will. Hughes died in 1976 without a valid Will in place, leading to a long and costly legal battle. His estate was worth billions, and his lack of a Will led to numerous lawsuits and disputes among potential heirs. This drawn-out probate process served as a stark reminder of the chaos that can ensue when one fails to plan their estate properly.

Especially prevalent when Will disputes are on the rise. This could be avoided with a carefully planned Will, detailed case notes (that’s our job) and properly executed Wills.

Details about William Shakespeare’s Will: William Shakespeare, arguably one of the greatest playwrights in history, left behind an intriguing Will that provides insights into his life and family. In his Will, he famously bequeathed his “second-best bed” to his wife Anne Hathaway, which has puzzled scholars and historians for centuries. While this may seem like an unusual bequest, it is important to remember that in Elizabethan times, the “best bed” was often reserved for guests, so this could have held sentimental value.

These stories and examples underscore the importance of Will writing. Regardless of the length or complexity of a Will, it is a crucial document that ensures your wishes are carried out and your loved ones are provided for after your passing. Properly drafted Wills can avoid confusion, legal disputes, and ensure a smooth transition of assets, making them an essential component of estate planning.

Should you need support with your Wills, reach out to us on social media, through our website or give us a call on:

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